China introduces Class-B management of Covid in new Phase

BEIJING: China officially started to manage COVID-19 as a Class-B infectious disease on January 8, said Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission (NHC), at a press conference in Beijing.
China issued its COVID-19 treatment guideline on Friday and the 10th version of its guideline on COVID-19 management on Saturday, signaling a shift from preventing infections to preventing severe diseases.
Mi said the control measures for at-risk areas and personnel would also shift from quarantine to hospital visits.
The implementation of Class-B management of COVID-19 emphasizes more scientific, precise and efficient ep-idemic prevention and control and better coordinates epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, according to Mi.
Many people in China are worried about new coronavirus variants and subvariants, especially the XBB and XBB 1.5, that can evade immune surveillance and cause more infections. However, an expert from the NHC said the XBB variants will not massively spread in China for now.
“We reviewed the latest reports and research about the XBB variants,” said Chen Cao, a researcher at the Na-tional Institute for Viral Diseases Control and Prevention under the NHC. “We didn’t see more severe cases or deaths.”
“That is to say, the virulence of XBB variants didn’t increase,” Chen added.
Meanwhile, another expert encouraged senior citizens to consider getting a second booster.
“We hope another booster can protect the people with high risk of getting severe COVID-19,” said Wang Huaqing, chief expert on the immunization program at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “The second booster should be taken at least six months after the first one.”
As China scraps many COVID-19 control measures, the potential for aggressive management cannot be com-pletely ruled out should the need arise.
“Emergency measures can be taken if any contagious disease is spreading,” said Lei Zhenglong, director of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control at the NHC. “This is in accordance with the law.”
Lei said possible emergency measures include delaying large events, pausing recreational area access and tempo-rary home office requirements.
–The Daily Mail-CGTN
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