Maintaining normal life is as important as implementing an aggressive zero-case policy: Zhang Wenhong

Medical workers prepare to perform nucleic acid tests at a nucleic acid testing site in Qingpu District in east China’s Shanghai, March 14, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

Maintaining normal life should be placed in the same important position as implementing an aggressive zero cases policy, which is the future path for the long-term fight against COVID-19, and the state The mindset of “fighting the virus regardless of cost” should be dropped, Zhang Wenhong, a renowned infectious disease expert based in Shanghai, said Wednesday evening.

Zhang’s remarks, published in his Sina Weibo post, came at a time when Shanghai is fighting its toughest battle against the virus since the outbreak began.

Shanghai has reported four confirmed cases and 979 asymptomatic cases, according to the local health commission on Thursday.

In the post titled “Coronavirus Not Scary But Difficult To Fight,” Zhang admitted that with an exponential rise in asymptomatic cases, Shanghai is struggling to cope with the outbreak and medical resources were quickly stretched. “I can’t pretend there aren’t challenges, but we are constantly learning and improving as the outbreak evolves, striving to get patients feeling better and recovering faster. .”

Shutting down the city to stamp out the virus while trying to prop up the economy is difficult in practice. Despite the raging epidemic, Shanghai will not take a one-size-fits-all approach, he said.

The recent good news is that the Shanghai epidemic is showing good signs and the conditions for embracing a turning point in the epidemic are in place. New infections from non-restricted regions are down, accounting for only 10% of tallied infections, Zhang said.

He noted that China’s anti-epidemic work is entering a new phase, and measures to halt the economies and lives of entire regions and institute citywide rounds of testing will be gradually implemented. updated, which is a message delivered by the newly revised guideline on nucleic acid testing. But if we don’t act fast enough, we have no chance of beating Omicron, Zhang said.

On the day the new guideline was issued, Shanghai put its priority on “strictly eliminating cases and increasing testing capacity” and stressed close coordination and relocating resources, and that’s when Shanghai generated the ability to win against Omicron, Zhang explained.

The new nucleic acid testing guideline released on Tuesday highlights regional nucleic acid testing instead of previous mass testing to more scientifically locate areas to be tested, and sets a strict deadline for the designated area of ​​a city ​​to perform the tests, which must be completed within 24 hours.

Zhang also acknowledged that problems exist in Shanghai’s fight against Omicron. Some people said that “the lives of people living in epidemic-restricted areas are not well guaranteed, the restriction period is too long, and frequent hospital restrictions cause inconvenience to other patients” – but Shanghai will not escape. not have these problems, he said.

“The fight against the coronavirus is a long-term fight, it requires us not only to eradicate the epidemic, but also to guarantee people’s lives and normal access to hospitals, and the survival of businesses. All of this will become the subject of a later phase of Shanghai’s fight against the coronavirus.”

Shanghai began a new round of nucleic acid testing for key regions from Wednesday to Thursday under a much more restricted framework as part of targeted preventive measures for COVID-19, dismissing rumors that it would increase the number of people placed under closed management and locked up.

The good news revealed by a study from the University of Hong Kong that three injections of inactivated vaccines offered a protection rate of more than 95% against death or serious illness underlines China’s confidence in defeating the coronavirus, said Zhang.

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