Dec 12, 2022 08:25 PM

Editorial: China Needs to Build Up Medical Capacity to Tackle Covid

On Dec. 8, in Chongqing, medical staff were vaccinating people over 60 years old. Photo: VCG
On Dec. 8, in Chongqing, medical staff were vaccinating people over 60 years old. Photo: VCG

China’s Covid-19 prevention and control strategy is undergoing a major revamp. On Dec. 7, the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council issued the “Notice on Further Optimizing and Implementing Covid-19 Prevention and Control Measures.” It says that providing proof of a negative nucleic acid test or presenting a health code is no longer required, except at special locations such as nursing homes, welfare homes, medical establishments, childcare institutions and primary and secondary schools. Proof of negative nucleic acid tests and health codes will no longer be checked for cross-regional migrants, nor will testing be carried out at the destination. In addition, asymptomatic infected persons and mild cases capable of isolating at home will now generally be subject to home quarantine, with centralized quarantine and treatment offered voluntarily as an alternative. Better known as the “10 New Measures,” the latest round of easing represents a landmark initiative following 20 measures announced in November. The Chinese government made this major decision based on both science and public opinion, and to better coordinate Covid control with economic development. But with the implementation of the “10 New Measures,” the country faces immediate pressure to strengthen capacity building, which will be key to a smooth, orderly policy transition.

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