Ambassador Zheng Zeguang Pointed out in his Signed Article in The Guardian: China has always put people and their lives front and centre. Recent optimisation and adjustment of response measures is based on scientific assessment
On 30th December, Ambassador Zheng Zeguang published a signed article titled “ In China, here is what we want the west to know about our Covid response” in the Guardian, one of the mainstream media in the UK. The full text is as follows:
Over the past weeks, Beijing has become the first city to go through the infection peak, and life and work are returning to normal in the capital. The Covid-19 situation in China is generally stable and controllable, and people are making plans to work, study and travel.
That’s why the Chinese government has announced that, starting from 8 January, Covid-19 will be managed with measures against Class B instead of the more serious Class A infectious diseases in accordance with the law. There will also be new cross-border travel rules. For visitors to China, no Covid test will be mandatory upon arrival and no centralised quarantine will be required if someone tests positive while in the country. This is another adjustment China has made to its approach based on a comprehensive assessment of the pandemic situation, representing a shift of focus from stemming infections to preventing severe cases and further minimising the impact of Covid-19 on economic and social activities.
Over the past three years, China has always put people and their lives front and centre while it tries to keep Covid under control, and promote economic and social development. Our response policies have been effective, science-based and in line with China’s national conditions. China has withstood the impact of five infection waves around the world, successfully avoided the widespread prevalence of the original strain and the Delta variant, and greatly reduced severe cases and mortality.
China’s recent optimisation and adjustment of response measures is based on the scientific assessment of virus mutations and the pandemic situation. Such optimisation is also what the people are calling for. Practices in many countries, including the UK, have shown that although the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, its virulence and pathogenicity are weakened. The majority of infected people can fully recover within a short period of time, and the rates of severe cases and mortality have been significantly reduced.
China’s vaccine production capacity is 7bn doses a year, providing not only inactivated vaccines and recombinant protein vaccines, but also adenovirus vector vaccines. Clinical research evidence shows that Chinese vaccines offer good protection against severe cases and mortality caused by Omicron. China has administered 3.4bn doses of the vaccine. To break the number down, 90% of people are fully vaccinated and 86% of those aged 60 and above are fully vaccinated. We have been vigorously promoting the booster shot, with a focus on strengthening the vaccination and health management of older people.
Recently, as the number of infections increases, some people have hoarded medicines as a precaution, resulting in some temporary shortages in certain locations. But generally speaking, supply is not an issue because of China’s strong production capacity. For example, the daily production capacity of both paracetamol and ibuprofen has reached more than 75m tablets, and the daily production capacity of antigen testing reagents has exceeded 100m doses. Active efforts are also being made to ensure the supply of relevant medicines by increasing market supply and encouraging reasonable, orderly and targeted delivery.
The international community has responded positively to the provisional measures on cross-border travel that will be implemented shortly. As the Covid-19 situation in China continues to improve, the effects of policies to stabilise economic growth continue to emerge, and the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel becomes easier, China’s long-subdued consumer demand will be released, investor confidence will be boosted and the economy will rebound strongly. This is good news for not just China but the entire global economy.