In the face of outbreaks caused by the more infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19, a relaxation of epidemic control and prevention is not an option for China, said top Chinese epidemiologist Liang Wannian on Friday.
Liang noted at a press conference that the country is yet to get its elderly and underage population fully vaccinated. In the meantime, different parts of the country face discrepancies in medical resources.
"Under such circumstances, the country's medical resources will be stretched too thin should we adopt a laissez-faire epidemic containment approach," said Liang. He added that such an approach would also harm the well-being of vulnerable groups including minors and the elderly.
Regarding anti-epidemic work in Beijing and Shanghai, Liang said that swift and full implementation of containment policies is needed to effectively contain infections caused by the Omicron variant and stay one step ahead of the virus.
To cut the spread of the virus and protect people's lives, the country needs to continue adhering to the principles of timely detection, quarantine, patient admission and treatment, said Liang.