China’s Dynamic Zero-COVID Policy Reiterated: Targeting outbreaks not Infections

Now Shenzhen   |   April 25, 2022

Photo taken on April 23, 2022 shows an oxygen tank in a makeshift hospital in Shanghai. (Xinhua/Yang Youzong)

A leading Chinese epidemiologist has reiterated that China's current dynamic zero-COVID approach aims at eliminating COVID-19 outbreaks rather than individual infections.

"The essence of the dynamic zero-COVID approach is early detection and quick response measures to stop the continuous spread of the virus in communities to protect people's health and lives to the greatest extent," Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-19 response expert panel under the National Health Commission, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Breaking the concept down, Liang said "dynamic" means although it cannot be guaranteed that no individuals will be infected with the novel coronavirus in the short term, China is able to quickly identify and contain an outbreak once it is detected to prevent the virus from causing greater harm to the wider population.

At present, the nation's "zero-COVID" approach involves going all out to prevent the spread of outbreaks, sustained community-level transmission and large-scale resurgences, rather than eliminating the novel coronavirus altogether, he noted.

China is racing against time to rein in the spike in locally transmitted infections that began in March. The Chinese mainland on Saturday reported 21,796 new local infections, down from 24,326 on Friday.