China will step up efforts to guarantee its epidemic response funding with the focus on caring for health and preventing severe cases in a new phase of COVID response.
The Ministry of Finance has said that the increased government spending will be mainly for medical treatment subsidies, temporary allowances of medical personnel, vaccines and vaccination, and medical capacity improvement.
More resources will be channeled to the treatment of severe COVID cases in county-level hospitals, and emergency treatment and critical care in rural areas.
In recent months, China has made an array of active adjustments in its COVID response in light of the evolving situation. The country has downgraded the management of the infectious disease of COVID-19 from Class A to Class B, shifting the focus of the response from stemming infection to caring for health and preventing severe cases.
Local governments will be supported in issuing bonds to raise funds for related public health projects, according to the ministry.
The central budget will subsidize local work related to medical treatment, medical personnel allowances, and vaccination. Local governments should fully consider the capital demand in rural areas and counties with financial difficulties.
Green channels for the government procurement of urgently needed resources such as COVID response medical treatment supplies will be established and improved, the ministry said.
It also ordered strict supervision measures to ensure that the funds are not withheld or misappropriated.