Dynamic zero strategy ensures normalcy at lowest possible cost: top Chinese health expert

(Global Times) 10:04, January 23, 2022

China's dynamic zero approach to COVID-19 control is cost-effective, Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-19 response expert panel under National Health Commission (NHC), said Saturday, in response to some voices on whether China's control strategy is at the cost of those who face lockdown and would strain economic growth.

China can balance the epidemic control and socioeconomic development, and has become the only major economy that sees growth during the pandemic, Liang said. From the early-day emergency control, to exploration of precise control until the current dynamic zero, Chinese approach protected people's lives and health and ensured economic growth, he said.

Liang noted that to evaluate costs and results of the approach objectively, it is important to consider the overall costs and how many infections and deaths have been prevented - the costs for a country of 1.4 billion population are widely considered as being reasonable so far.

The control strategy can curb resurgence within two quarantine periods, taking a targeted approach, and people in most places can maintain normal lives and production while areas of risks are more precisely designated. That is the mobility and convenience of a few are compromised for the normalcy of the widest regions possible, Liang explained.

To evaluate economic losses and gains of the control methods requires a macro view of the nation over a longer time span, rather than focusing on the affected city during a single control period, the expert said.

Liang also noted current vaccination levels don't form a solid public immunity, and easing controls may lead to rebounding of the virus.

China has administered more than 2.9 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with 1.2 billion people completing vaccination. More than 218 million people aged over 60 have been inoculated, according to the NHC. 

(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Bianji)


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