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Q&As on China's Current COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control---Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone
2023-01-12 00:17

Recently, China's COVID-19 epidemic situation and control strategy adjustment have attracted wide attention from the international community. In order to help the Sierra Leonean people to understand China's anti-epidemic situation, Mr. Hu Aimin, Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone responds to relevant questions as follows:

Question 1: Why did China choose to adjust its epidemic prevention and control policies?

Spokesperson:With the significant weakening of the pathogenicity and virulence of the Omicron mutant strain and the continuous improvement of our capabilities of medical treatment, pathogen detection, and vaccination, the Chinese government has recently gradually optimized the epidemic prevention policy. The focus has been shifted to health protection and severe casesprevention. The process is controllable, and the current situation is also within our prediction. This is not only a timely and necessary move for scientific prevention and control, but also a strategic and long-term move to efficiently coordinate epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, and safeguard the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people.

Question 2: Is China well prepared to deal with the new situation of the epidemic after policy adjustment?

Spokesperson:At present, China's epidemic prevention policy is "shifting gears", and there will inevitably be an adaptation process. Other countries have also experienced such a stage when adjusting their epidemic prevention policies. However, China has better foundations for adjusting its epidemic prevention policies. First, the incubation period of the virus is shorter and the pathogenicity is significantly reduced, and it will gradually evolve into a common respiratory infectious disease. Second, although the number of infected people is large, asymptomatic infections and mild cases are the majority, and the occurrence of severe cases and mortality is extremely low. Third, China has accumulatively vaccinated more than 3.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for a population of 1.4 billion, covering over 92% of the country's total population. China has more than 10 new COVID-19 vaccines, covering a variety of technical routes and vaccination methods, with an annual vaccine production capacity of over 7 billion doses. At the same time, China has taken multiple measures to increase drug production capacity, which could basically meet the market demand, and the market supply of antipyretic and anti-influenza medicines has been improved significantly. Chinese authorities are also promoting international pharmaceutical cooperation in accordance with market principles, and have approved the importation of new COVID-19 drugs produced by international manufacturers such as Pfizer.

Question 3: How will the adjustment of China's epidemic control policy affect the personnel exchange of China and other countries and the economy?

Spokesperson:China has announced new interim measures on the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel. The 48-hour nucleic acid test prior to enter China is still required, while the nucleic acid test and centralized quarantine after entering China is canceled. Work, business and study visits will be resumed further. Outbound travel will be resumed in an orderly manner.

It is widely expected that the Chinese economy will show a clear recovery and growth momentum this year. It is believed that with the introduction of China's new measures for epidemic prevention and control, it will further facilitate the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel, promote mutually beneficial cooperation between China and other countries, and promote the recovery of the world economy after the epidemic.

Question 4: Does China have the confidence to control the current peak of the epidemic as soon as possible?

Spokesperson: Recently, Beijing and some other regions have passed the peak of the epidemic, where people’s lives are gradually returning to normal. We are also closely tracking and monitoring the epidemic situation in the rest of the country, mobilizing all resources to protect the elderly with underlying diseases, pregnant women, and children, and doing everything possible to reduce severe illness and mortality.

Over the past three years, China has accumulated rich experience in COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control. We arefully capable and confident in eventually defeating the epidemic. We uphold the concept of putting people first and life first, and through the united efforts of the people across the country, we will surely be able to overcome the epidemic as soon as possible and usher in a better future.

Question 5: How does China view the recent announcement by certain countries to impose entry quarantine measures on passengers from China?

Spokesperson:The current adjustment of China's epidemic prevention and control measures embodies the principle of scientific and precision. Very few countries have adopted restrictions or additional quarantine measures to people entering the country from China, which is inconsistent with the characteristics of the virus itself and international practice, and will not help collectively, collaboratively, and scientifically fighting the epidemic. It is not conducive for the orderly cross-border exchanges and the stability of the global industrial chain and supply chain. China believes that the epidemic prevention measures should be scientific and appropriate,should treat all passengers equally, and should not affect normal personnel exchanges and cooperation. We hope that all parties will uphold scientific principles, work together to ensure the safe travel of people from all the countries, and contribute to international solidarity in the fight against the epidemic and to the recovery of the world economy.

Question 6: So far, what is the overall situation of China's COVID-19 control work?

Spokesperson:Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Chinese government has always insisted on the supremacy of the people and the supremacy of life, optimized and adjusted epidemic prevention measures scientifically and precisely according to the time and situation. Especially in the most severe period, the Chinese government mobilized all resources and spared no effort to protect the safety and health of the people. Over the past three years, China has withstood multiple rounds of global epidemics, successfully avoiding the prevalence of relatively strong pathogenic strains such as the original strain and the delta mutant strain, and the number of COVID-19 patients and deaths has remained at the lowest level in the world. The great achievements China has made in the fight against the epidemic have been highly appraised and unanimously recognized by the international community, including the World Health Organization(WHO).

Question 7: What contributions has China made to the global fight against COVID-19?

Spokesperson:China not only safeguards the life, health and safety of its own people, but also makes important contributions to the global fight against the epidemic. As early as the beginning of the outbreak, China quickly identified the pathogen and shared the genetic sequence of the virus with the world, helping other countries and regions to prepare for diagnosis and prevention and control. China has also regularly communicated with the WHO, relevant countries and regional organizations, and proactively notified the epidemic information in a timely manner. China has conducted more than 60 technical exchanges with WHO since it proposed and established a technical exchange mechanism with WHO in January 2020. China has always shared information with other countries in an open, transparent and responsible manner to help the international community respond to the epidemic.

China has actively carried out international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic, launched the largest global emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and provided hundreds of billions of anti-epidemic materials to 153 countries and 15 international organizations. China was the first to promise to make COVID-19 vaccine a global public product, the first to support vaccine R&D intellectual property exemptions, and the first to cooperate with developing countries in vaccine production. It has supplied more than 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations. China has also co-organized more than 300 epidemic prevention and control technical exchange activities with more than 180 countries and regions around the world and more than 10 international organizations, and sent 38 anti-epidemic medical expert teams to 34 countries to share China's anti-epidemic experience without any reservation, just to help the international community respond to the epidemic.

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