With Covid preparedness, China poised for safe, sound Spring Festival holiday

BEIJING: Chinese Lunar New Year is just around the corner, and as Chinese people flock back home for family reunions, what is the country’s COVID-19 situation at present?
With medical services returning to normal and COVID response measures in place at all levels and in all sorts of venues, a safe and sound Spring Festival holiday is expected, according to officials and health experts.The treatment of COVID-19 patients is smooth and orderly as day-to-day diagnoses and treatments gradually resume, Guo Yanhong, director of the Health Emergency Response Office of the National Health Commission, said at a press conference of the State Council joint COVID-19 prevention and control mechanism on Thursday. The number of severe COVID-19 cases in hospitals nationwide reached its peak on Jan 5 and has dropped by 44.3 percent as of Tuesday, Guo said.
She added that the numbers of patients in fever clinics and emergency rooms peaked on Dec 23 and Jan 2, respectively, and have decreased by 94 percent and 44 percent as of Tuesday.
COVID patient numbers have been declining in day-to-day medical services centers, with 99.5 percent of outpatients and 85 percent of hospitalized patients nationwide being non-COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, Guo said.
As for the newly detected XAY.2 variant of the coronavirus, Chang Zhaorui, a research fellow at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said it is yet to be detected in China. Chang warned that personal protection measures are still necessary, and that inbound travelers who have COVID-19 symptoms should monitor their health properly and seek medical treatment when necessary. Community-level and rural clinics are gearing up their COVID response measures as the Spring Festival travel rush is in full swing.
Guo Yanhong said that 98.8 percent of township-level clinics and community health centers across the country have set up fever clinics, which are required to maintain normal operations during the holidays.
Chinese health authorities have also provided community-level medical facilities with the necessary equipment. Jiao Yahui, head of the Bureau of Medical Administration under the NHC, said that 1.17 million finger-clip oximeters have been distributed to village clinics across the country.
As of Thursday, community-level medical institutions in China have been equipped with nearly 2.48 million finger-clip oximeters and 191,000 oxygen generators.
–The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item