A makeshift hospital in Huadu district of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Thursday. Set up in an indoor stadium, the venue can accommodate 2,080 patients. (WU MING/NANFANG DAILY)
The target for future COVID-19 epidemic control will focus on alleviating the symptoms of patients as scientists reached the consensus two years ago that the novel coronavirus is not going to disappear, a senior Chinese disease prevention expert said.
Gao Fu, former director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said, "We need to control the disease, rather than eliminate the virus, and make small and continuous changes in our control measures."
The anti-COVID polypeptide drugs developed by his team will soon enter phase 2 clinic trials, said Gao, who is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and researcher at the academy's Institute of Microbiology.
The nasal spray, developed by the Institute of Microbiology and Hybio Pharmaceutical, is the first broad spectrum polypeptide drug that has gained approval for clinical trials in China, he told the media outlet Yicai.
The phase 1 clinical trials showed that the drug is effective and safe, he said.
The essence of the 20 adjusted COVID-19 control measures released by the State Council's Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism is precise and targeted COVID-19 prevention and control, and it called on the public to get vaccinated and prepare necessary drugs.
Science, public understanding and participation, as well as administrative decisions, are all essential in dealing with the epidemic, he said.
The handling of public health emergencies should be based on science and administrative decisions must be practical, Gao said.
COVID-19 antigen test kits will be more widely used in the future, he noted.
Gao also encouraged scientists and virologists to put more effort into popularizing science to the public to prevent an "information epidemic".
"Compared with the COVID-19 epidemic, the information epidemic causes more harm," he added.