Timely change of course in the fight against the virus: the editorial of the China Daily – Opinion

A resident (R) receives a dose of inhalable COVID-19 vaccine at a community health services center in Tianxin District of Changsha, central China’s Hunan Province, Dec. 22, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

The lifting of strict virus controls in no way indicates that the government has surrendered to the virus. The optimization of prevention and control measures is instead in line with the current epidemic situation.

On the one hand, the variants of the new coronavirus responsible for the current wave of infections are less lethal for the majority of the population; on the other, the economy is in desperate need of a quick restart and the society of its mobility is lagging behind.

However, that doesn’t mean ignoring the seriousness of the situation. Doing everything possible to reduce the COVID death rate is the urgent need of the new phase of the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Although most people can recover from the infection with just a few days of rest, the virus still poses a serious threat to the life and health of older adults, especially those with pre-existing conditions.

Although 75% of the country’s 240 million people aged 60 and over and 40% of those aged 80 and over have received three vaccinations, more than in some developed economies, it is not forgot that some 25 million people aged 60 and over have not been vaccinated at all, putting them at a higher risk of serious disease.

The strain on hospitals nationwide is evidence of the increased demand for medical care. It is imperative that governments at various levels step into the breach. More inputs are needed to quickly increase emergency medical resources and ensure the supply of anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory drugs.

This means establishing more fever clinics, optimizing treatment procedures, increasing the number of support staff for healthcare workers and improving the efficiency of the service. It’s good to see that some cities are already moving quickly in that direction. For example, the number of fever clinics in Beijing has soared from 94 to 1,263 in recent weeks, preventing a scramble for medical resources.

Neighborhood management departments and public health institutions should also open toll-free channels to ensure all calls are answered promptly and critically ill patients are transported to hospitals for treatment.

The fact that the number of 911 calls received by public health departments in many cities peaked late last week suggests that the hardest time has passed, if only for this virus surge, with more surges expected. However, as the situation improves, grassroots departments and public health institutions should take the lead in examining and providing for people’s medical care needs, including offering psychological counseling.

As expected, the continued emphasis on putting life and health first is being selectively ignored by those Chinese brawlers who revel in the thrills of schadenfreude at the expense of the Chinese people.

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