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Indepth | Inside Look at China's Pandemic Measures

By WANG, XIAOYANVIVIAN YANALEX REPORTERFYICHONGQING|Nov 18,2021

Chongqing- There have been sporadic infections in Chongqing recently. According to a press conference Wednesday, from 13 to 17 Nov., there was no new confirmed case and no asymptomatic carrier, so the new surge of Delta Virant in the city results in 6 confirmed cases and five asymptomatic carriers. Chongqing has become a low-risk area as of 18:00 on November 17, and all sealed control areas began to lift their lockdown.

The result came from efficient prevention and control measures, mass nucleic acid testing has been implemented, more than 3.799 million residents were tested, for whom the results have all proved negative. Furthermore, strict quarantine measures have been taken in those areas where the confirmed cases live.

On November 10, iChongqing reporters went to one of the sealed control areas to find out how the residents and medical staff handle the tough time, which embodies the Chinese zero-tolerance for epidemic prevention.

541 people completed nucleic acid tests in the area that day

As of 24:00 on November 10, Chongqing Municipality has six local confirmed cases and four local asymptomatic infections. On the morning of November 10, Jiulongpo District launched the fourth round of nucleic acid testing in the closed area of Jiulong Subdistrict. By noon, a total of 541 nucleic acid samples had been completed.

“I am very confident in the entire quarantine measures,” said Feng Liang, Secretary of the Community Committee and Director of the Residents Committee of Panlong New Town, Jiulong Subdistrict Jiulongpo District, Chongqing.” The quarantine began on November 2. (As of the morning of November 10). We have organized three nucleic acid tests, and all of them are negative.”

Feng Liang, Secretary of the Community Committee and Director of the Residents Committee of Panlong New Town in Jiulongpo District. (iChongqing/ Alex Reporterfy)

Experience wearing protective clothing to enter the quarantine area

First, protective clothing, protective medical masks, wash your hands, wear gloves, face shields, etc.; the process for the whole set of procedures takes at least 10 minutes. Afterward, the iChongqing reporters can enter the imperial court jewelry city (community), the sealed control area, at about 10 am.

The imperial court jewelry city (community) at Jiulong Street of Jiulongpo District. (iChongqing/ Alex Reporterfy)

“There is only one entrance in the entire community left. We have security guards and volunteers standing guard 24 hours a day.” Feng Liang introduced. Passing through Lobby, the reporters followed Feng to the downstairs of Building 3 (sealed control area). “We were in the control area before. After crossing this cordon, we entered the closed area. Only our staff in protective clothing can enter. Volunteers and security guards are not allowed here.”

The reporters then came to the door of the resident Ms. Liu Yuzhen’s house. Ms. Liu has diabetes, and community workers delivered all the medicines needed during the isolation period. So, talking about community epidemic prevention work, she was full of gratitude to community workers.

“The staff in our community sends rice and vegetables to our home. As long as there is a need, they will send it to us,” Ms. Liu said. “I’m touched. I want to say thank you to the staff in the community.” After the interview, the team went to the designated area to take off their protective clothing. The reporters found that it takes at least 15 minutes to take off the protective suit while strictly following the process, that is you must wash your hands each time you take off one thing.

iChongqing reporter in a protective suit. (iChongqing/ Alex Reporterfy)

The staff working on nucleic acid at the scene typically rotates for two hours. Even in today’s cool weather, the reporters felt sultry and uncomfortable after only one hour of experience.

During this anti-epidemic process, the hospitals sent hundreds of staff to participate in the large-scale nucleic acid sampling work and accompanied the anti-epidemic personnel and anti-epidemic materials to the front line to ensure the safety of the front-line staff.

Dr. Li Kejuan from the Department of Infectious Diseases of Chongqing Jiulongpo Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine is responsible for guiding and training medical staff to protect personal. She says: “Every time an outbreak occurs, our medical workers, CDC staff, and community members have worked very hard, and even some retired medical workers have actively participated in the volunteer team to assist. I believe this epidemic also will pass as soon as last time.”

Zero-transmission” policy cannot be changed

The epidemic in Chongqing was quickly brought under control thanks to the resolute and decisiveness of the community in epidemic prevention. In the face of sporadic epidemic outbreaks, China continues to adhere to the “clearance” policy.

Although strict epidemic control has had a particular impact on the people in the outbreak area, many people have sacrificed a lot, but from a national perspective, if the epidemic is allowed to rage, China’s economy would be more affected, more livelihoods will be insecure, and more lives will be lost.

A leading Chinese respiratory disease expert said that China will continue to pursue a zero-transmission policy against the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, as the global fatality rate of 2 percent is still much too high.

Zhong Nanshan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, explained in an interview with CGTN how China had achieved such success.

“The first (thing) is to find the first patient and trace where they came from. Second, we determine the infection chain,” Zhong said. “Third, we find close contacts in the infection chain so that they can screen promptly. And the  fourth thing is that all the close contacts are isolated and tested in time to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in local communities.”

Zhong said China had to introduce a zero-tolerance and zero-transmission policy, as the current Delta variant spreads fast, and it replicates very quickly.

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