Based on science and reality, China has improved and adjusted its COVID policy.
Since January 8, 2023, the Chinese government has optimized and readjusted its COVID-19 policy. China has started to manage COVID-19 with measures against Class-B instead of the more serious Class-A infectious diseases in accordance with the law, and simultaneously implementing new rules on cross-border travel. According to the new rules, inbound travelers are no longer required to do nucleic acid tests upon arrival in China, and those who are tested positive after entering China shall not be subject to centralized quarantine.
China’s optimization and adjustment of COVID policy is science-based, effective, and consistent with national realities. They can stand the test of history.
Over the past three years, China has successfully avoided the spread of more deadly original COVID-19 virus and Delta variant, with the lowest infection and mortality rates in the world.
During this protracted battle, China has developed a strong public health system, accumulated rich experience in COVID-19 prevention and control, consolidated the prevention barrier by vaccination, and significantly improved the rescue and treatment capacity. Until December 2022, China has administered 3.4 billion doses to its 1.4 billion people, with the number of people covered and the number of full vaccinations accounting for more than 92% and 90% of its total population respectively.
The total number of ICU beds is 138,100, approaching the level of 10 beds per 100,000 people, combined with a total of 80,500 ICU physicians and 220,000 ICU nurses. Besides, annual vaccine production capacity reaches more than 7 billion doses. Medicine production capacity is rapidly increasing, and the import of COVID medicine produced by international manufacturers such as Pfizer is approved based on market principles.
At present, China is actively making every effort to expand medical resources, establish a hierarchical diagnosis and treatment mechanism, increase medicine supply capacity, strengthen the capacity of local health and medical institutions, and mobilize all resources to protect vulnerable groups and do everything possible to reduce severe cases and deaths.
COVID situation on the whole remains steady and under control. Life and work are gradually coming back to normal, travel around the country is warming up, and the familiar hustle and bustle has come back to the streets and alleys in China.
But individual Western politicians and media have ignored achievements in fighting the pandemic in the past three years, deliberately speculated on individual cases and extreme incidents, distorted the adjustment of COVID-19 policies, belittled the effectiveness of China’s vaccine, exaggerated the spillover effects of the epidemic, and encouraged a few countries to adopt special restrictions or additional quarantine measures for people entering from China. This is politically motivated manipulation, which is inconsistent with the characteristics of the virus itself and internationally accepted practices, and is not conducive to unity and cooperation and scientific resistance to the pandemic.
They believes that for all countries, COVID response measures need to be science-based and proportional. They should not be used for political purposes, there should not be discriminatory measures against certain countries, and should not affect normal people-to-people exchanges and cooperation. Recently, health experts from many countries have said that the main variant now spreading in China has previously been found elsewhere already, and that a new variant can emerge anywhere on the planet, which means entry restrictions targeting China are unnecessary.
With the optimization and adjustment of COVID policy, it is widely expected that economy will show a clear momentum of recovery and growth this year, and development will bring more opportunities to all countries in the world, including Pakistan. We look forward to working together with the Pakistani side to actively seize the opportunities brought by China’s development in the post-epidemic period, to promote fruitful cooperation of CPEC, to push the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan to a new level, and to bring more benefits to the people of both countries.