A volunteer helps local residents register information and get in line for nucleic acid tests at a community in Shenzhen, March 13, 2022. (Photo/Xinhua)
A key meeting of the Communist Party of China on Thursday reaffirmed the need for the nation to unswervingly stick to a dynamic zero-COVID policy, calling for maximized efforts to protect people's lives and health, and for a more scientific, targeted and efficient response to the pandemic.
The meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee reiterated the importance of putting the people and their lives above all else and preventing both imported cases and domestic resurgences of COVID-19. It heard a report on COVID-19 response before discussing and rolling out 20 measures on epidemic prevention and control.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting.
With COVID-19 continuing its constant mutation and the pandemic still raging, China is seeing continuous new outbreaks, said a summary of the meeting.
As a populous country, China has a large number of vulnerable people and it faces imbalances in regional development and inadequacies in overall health resources, the summary said.
According to the National Health Commission, the Chinese mainland reported 1,133 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 7,691 local asymptomatic carriers being newly identified.
The meeting's participants said that the scope and scale of the transmission of COVID-19 may further expand due to mutations of the virus and climate-related factors in the winter and spring.
Given the challenging situation in pandemic response, it is important to maintain a firm strategic resolve and bolster control and prevention efforts on various fronts in a scientific and targeted way, the summary said.
The meeting stressed the imperative need to follow the requirements of ensuring effective virus control, stable economic performance and safe and secure development, coordinate epidemic response and socioeconomic development efficiently and minimize the influence of COVID-19 on socioeconomic development.
It is important to adapt to the fast transmission of the virus, put in place measures to ensure early discovery, reporting, quarantine and treatment of cases, and roll out quick measures to prevent lingering outbreaks, the summary said.
The nation must concentrate its strength on wiping out outbreaks in key areas, and adopt more resolute and decisive measures to curb the spread of the virus and restore the normal order of life and work as soon as possible, it added.
It warned authorities against indecisiveness, taking a wait-and-see attitude or acting in an arbitrary manner.
The meeting stressed the need to analyze the risks of outbreaks in an accurate manner and further optimize and adjust response measures, including steps to adopt more targeted measures in quarantine, nucleic acid tests, the flow of travelers, health services, vaccination and support for businesses and campuses.
It called for greater efforts to boost the research and development of vaccines and pharmaceuticals and to improve their effectiveness.
The necessary measures to contain the pandemic cannot be relaxed, the summary said.
The participants underlined the necessity to oppose irresponsible attitudes, oppose and tackle formalism and bureaucracy, and correct practices that overstretch response measures or adopt "one size fits all" approaches.
The meeting required all-out measures to provide services and support to the general public in their work and life and meet the basic demands of people as pandemic response measures are put in place.
More work must be done to guarantee basic public services, such as access to healthcare and to extend support and care to vulnerable groups including the elderly and people with illnesses and disabilities.
It is important to come up with solutions to the practical difficulties facing the people, and to strive to restore the normal order of production and work, the summary said, adding that the vaccination of key groups must be stepped up to form a shield against the pandemic.