CNA – China will keep fine-tuning its steps to control COVID-19 as it tries to minimise infections and serious cases, officials said yesterday.
The authorities announced the moves, cheered by financial markets.
Friday’s easing measures included shorter quarantines for inbound travellers and those in close contact with infected people.
Quarantines were cut by two days to eight, with the first five spent in a centralised facility.
“As new virus variants keep coming, while our knowledge of the disease deepens and the epidemic situation changes both at home and abroad, we don’t rule out the possibility to further optimise and adjust our quarantine measures,” a researcher at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Wang Liping told a news briefing in Beijing yesterday.
China will stop trying to identify “secondary” contacts, while still identifying close contacts, officials said on Friday.
The measures will ease bottlenecks including a shortage of quarantine rooms and contact-tracing workers, deputy director of the National Health Commission (NHC) Lei Haichao told the news briefing.
“A complete re-opening is still unrealistic at the moment,” said Jiang Shuai, a 27-year-old finance professional in Beijing.
“But we can expect that things will be better in the future, in terms of vaccination and treatment of COVID-19.”
China will stick with a prevention-oriented approach to achieve “as few infections as possible, as few serious, critical cases as possible”, said Lei, noting that China has far fewer hospital beds per capita than developed countries.
The NHC reported 11,950 new COVID-19 infections for Friday, low by global standards but up from 10,729 cases a day earlier.