By Zhong Yin, People's Daily
Local authorities and relevant departments in China have been making unremitting efforts recently to ensure the supply of medical resources, satisfy the demand for medicines and focus on the prevention and treatment of high-risk groups, building a solid defense line against COVID-19 that protects people's health.
They have expanded medical resources by converting nucleic acid testing booths into temporary "fever clinics" that provide nearby medical services for the people. Prescriptions can be filled online nowadays by doctors based on a diagnosis and treatment protocol and a guideline on home treatment.
Besides, the supply of major medicines has increased. Pharmaceutical enterprises are guided by authorities to stabilize and expand production, and distribute medicines in an orderly and targeted manner.
When COVID-19 broke out in 2020, China went all out to relieve the pandemic, mobilizing the most excellent doctors, most advanced equipment and other urgently needed resources. Facing resurgences mainly caused by the Delta variant in 2021, the country activated an emergency command system and established expert teams for the epidemiological investigation that identified, screened and targeted people at risk, so as to minimize the impacts of the virus on economic and social development.
Since March 2022, to deal with the highly infectious Omicron variant, China has requested nucleic acid testing to be completed within 24 hours, and promoted a monitoring model combined with antigen detection and nucleic acid tests.
Facts have proved that every optimization of China's prevention and control measures was based on the experiences achieved by the country through its previous practices. The country has made full preparations for dealing with issues it had discovered.
Besides, China always follows a people-centered way to resume work and normal life and better guarantee the safety of key groups such as the elderly and children.
China has withstood rounds of impacts from COVID-19 over the recent three years and earned valuable windows of opportunity as the virulence of coronavirus variants continuously declined. More time was given to effective medicine development, improved medical treatment and mass vaccination.
Entering a new phase of COVID-19 prevention and control, China is closely watching the features of the virus to keep abreast of the situation.
It has worked to expand vaccination and medicine supply, enhance the construction of medical and prevention systems and improve its capability in emergency response. These efforts have all created conditions for the country to downgrade its management of COVID-19 from Class A to Class B.
China's optimization of its prevention and control measures, which is based on its meticulous examination of the current situation, is necessary, correct and responsible. The country is well prepared, and its move of COVID-19 control measures is by no means passive or laissez-faire.
Downgrading the management of COVID-19 from Class A to Class B doesn't suggest that all prevention and control measures would come to a stop, but that the country will continue enhancing relevant services.
At present, China is further expanding its supply of medical resources and services to cope with the rising demand for fever clinics. It is leveraging community-based health institutions and internet hospitals to offer more convenient health services for people.
Facing the surging need for medicines, the country is working to further ensure the stable and orderly production of pharmaceutical enterprises, release production capacity and supply the people with adequate medicines.
"We have now entered a new phase of COVID response where tough challenges remain. Everyone is holding on with great fortitude, and the light of hope is right in front of us. Let's make an extra effort to pull through, as perseverance and solidarity mean victory," said Chinese President Xi Jinping in his 2023 New Year Address.
It is believed that as long as China remains vigilant and makes unremitting efforts to implement its COVID-19 response measures, and comprehensively improves its prevention and treatment capability, the country will surely secure the final victory over the virus.