A medical worker takes a swab sample from a citizen for nucleic acid test at a testing site in Xining, Northwest China's Qinghai province, on Nov 8, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]
China will stick to its process of clearing any COVID-19 infections whenever an outbreak occurs, National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said over the weekend.
It will continue to follow the epidemic containment measures of early detection, swift response, targeted containment and effective treatment of COVID-19 patients, Mi said at a news conference on Saturday.
As global COVID-19 cases have surpassed 250 million, China faces greater challenges in preventing imported cases, and there is also higher risk of infectious respiratory illnesses brought about by the seasonal low temperatures, he added.
The current round of COVID-19 outbreaks has affected 21 provincial-level regions, Mi said.
The Chinese mainland reported 70 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in six provinces, including Liaoning, Hebei and Heilongjiang, on Saturday, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.
Wu Liangyou, deputy director of the commission's Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control, said the epidemic situation has generally stabilized across the country and multiple provincial regions have effectively contained the recent outbreaks.
Liang Wannian, head of the commission's COVID-19 epidemic response expert team, said aiming to clear all infections does not mean having a zero-tolerance policy against any infections, but instead works to prevent community infections through early detection, diagnosis, quarantine and effective treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Clearing any possible outbreaks can greatly reduce infection and protect people's health, he said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.
Sticking to the current containment measures can also prevent the epidemic from taking up too many medical resources and ensure that people's other medical needs can be met, he said.
China has swiftly cleared dozens of sporadic and cluster infections, effectively reduced the number of deaths and achieved a balance between epidemic control and economic and social development, proving that the epidemic control measures are effective, he said.
The keys to minimizing the impact of epidemic containment on society are targeted control measures and public participation, Liang said.
The epidemic control measures need to be further improved, while the public should keep following the good health habits of wearing masks, frequently washing their hands and keeping social distance, he said.
As of Sunday, more than 2.38 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across China, and nearly 1.07 billion people have completed vaccination, according to official data.
Nearly 84.4 million children between ages 3 and 11 have been vaccinated, and over 49.4 million of them have had booster shots.
China aims to complete the vaccination of children ages 3 to 11 by the end of the year, Wu said.
Wang Dengfeng, an official at the Ministry of Education, said more than 95 percent of students over age 18 have been fully vaccinated.
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