• Adjustment based on hard-earned scientific experience over 3 yrs; dynamic zero-COVID strategy still key to protecting lives

China made its latest move in scientific and precise epidemic control and prevention work to fight the COVID-19 epidemic amid a global resurgence by releasing 20 optimized measures on Friday. These include shortened quarantine periods for international arrivals and cancelation of circuit breakers for inbound flights in order to better carry out scientific and precise epidemic control and prevention work under the dynamic zero-COVID strategy while adapting the strategy to the latest global pandemic situation and the characteristics of the virus in a timely manner.

The newest steps made bold adjustments in some of China’s epidemic-management measures, including shortened quarantine periods for international arrivals and close contacts of confirmed cases from 7+3 (seven days of centralized quarantine and three days of health observation at home) to 5+3.

The measures required the timely screening of close contacts of confirmed cases, but no longer required the screening of close contacts or secondary contacts.

The circuit breaker mechanism on inbound flights to China upon detecting positive cases on board has also been canceled. Passengers of inbound flights to China will only need to provide one negative nucleic acid test result within the past 48 hours instead of two, according to the latest measures.

The move came one day after the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee met on Thursday to hear a report on the COVID-19 response, when it discussed and arranged the 20 measures. The meeting, which reiterated that China will unwaveringly stick to its dynamic zero-COVID policy, also emphasized that key areas should curb viral infections as soon as possible and restore normal life and production, optimize COVID-19 prevention work and implement more precise measures, and roll out vaccinations, as well as research and development of COVID-19 medicines.

It also came after problems of excessive and one-size-fits-all anti-epidemic measures in some parts of the country have been exposed amid the fresh flare-ups in China, triggering heated discussion on social media platforms.

Chinese analysts said the 20 measures are based on hard-earned scientific experience gained by China in the past three years in combating the virus, aim to achieve a better balance of protecting people’s lives and ensuring production, and will have a great impact on future epidemic prevention and control work.

  • News Agencies / GT

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