Battle against Omicron at 'toughest stage'; best strategy for China is remain patience, composure: Zhang Wenhong

2022-01-13 14:19:53 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

The Omicron variant, which spreads faster than Delta, could cause a surge in hospitalizations and stretch the health care system. The battle against Omicron is still at "the toughest moment," said Zhang Wenhong, a well-respected infectious disease expert in Shanghai, noting that a best strategy for China is to be patient and maintain composure. 

The number of imported COVID-19 cases in Shanghai has reached a historical high, Zhang said on Thursday on social media, after abnormal nucleic testing result of an international arrival in the city was reported. The incident has spurred concerns. 

Zhang said that he and his colleagues compared clinic symptoms of patients with Delta and Omicron, although the more contagious Omicron variant is hard to detect, its damage shouldn't be neglected. 

The new COVID-19 variant has made inroads in China after at least two cases were detected in Tianjin and then spilled over to Henan's Anyang and Liaoning's Dalian. 

Zhang, who is also the head of the Shanghai COVID-19 medical team, said his team has discussed booster shots' effectiveness against the newest variant. The team is preparing for clinical research of oral medicine for COVID-19, he said. 

The Shanghai doctor cited WHO's conclusion on the new variant, warning people that the public health care system could be stretched if infections from the Omicron variant spiked. and that vaccines, although effect in dealing with Omicron, have been weakened. 

He also said that the situation is heading towards a good direction. At the current stage, a best strategy for China is to be patient and to step up vaccination while sticking to the COVID-19 prevention playbook. Eventually, at the best time, when mortality rate is extremely low, life will be normalized, he said.


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