BEIJING -- A health official has emphasized the importance of committing to the current strategy in China to clear COVID-19 infections in a timely manner as highly contagious variants of the virus continue to rage around the world.
Since mid-October, the latest COVID-19 resurgence in China has spread to more than 20 provincial-level regions. Most regions managed to contain the outbreak within an incubation period of about 14 days, said Ma Xiaowei, head of the National Health Commission, in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"We have been thinking, especially during the process of coping with the spread of the Delta variant, how to control the epidemic with more effective measures, lower costs and at faster speeds to minimize its impact on economic and social development and people's lives," Ma said.
He added that the government has also noticed that the epidemic response in some countries, which have not implemented strict epidemic control measures, has not been satisfactory. There have been relapses that severely impacted people's lives, health and the economy and society overall.
As a result, China has been focusing on improving epidemic prevention and early detection, he noted.
Aiming to contain an outbreak within an incubation period, relevant agencies have been making full use of the "golden period," the first 24 hours of a discovered case, to find those who were in close contact, isolate potentially infected individuals before the virus spreads, or before the infected person can transmit the virus, Ma said. He hailed the strategy as an essential procedure for China's fight against COVID-19.
The tracing results showed that all the local clustered cases in the latest resurgence in China originated from overseas, Ma said.
Given the loopholes exposed, the government has asked local authorities to strictly remain on guard against imported cases, enhance epidemic response capacity in key areas, step up the management of activities in industries like tourism, and continue to promote mass vaccination and the research and development of related testing reagents.
"China's practices in fighting COVID-19 show that effectively containing the virus, in a country with a population of more than 1.4 billion, is its biggest contribution to the international anti-pandemic fight," Ma said.