Beijing- Life is returning to normal and mobility is rebounding in more Chinese provinces as the country has entered a new phase of COVID-19 response and is bracing for the upcoming Spring Festival.
Besides Beijing, more Chinese provincial-level regions, including Guangdong, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Henan and Zhejiang, have recently announced that they have smoothly passed a peak of COVID-19 infections.
Considering factors including the development of the epidemic, the increase in vaccination levels, and extensive epidemic prevention experience, the country entered a new phase of COVID response.
Starting from Sunday, China managed COVID-19 with measures designed for combating Class B infectious diseases, instead of Class A infectious diseases.
However, some Western media ignore the facts, choosing instead to apply double standard and even spread misinformation, while making unwarranted accusations against China's epidemic fight, confusing the public and misleading the world as a consequence. However, in the face of facts and data, these lies are evident and untenable.
During the New Year celebrations, Grand Tang Dynasty Ever Bright City, a commercial pedestrian street in Xi'an of Shaanxi Province, was packed with people; residents in Shijiazhuang of Hebei Province and Wuhan of Hubei Province released balloons; locals in Xiangtan, Hunan Province enjoyed a fireworks show. "Seeing so many people celebrating the New Year together, I was nearly moved to tears," one netizen wrote.
More than 50 million people traveled in China during the New Year holiday. On Jan. 1, 10,640 cinemas opened for business nationwide, a new high in nearly 10 months. Many people are planning to return to their hometowns for family reunions or travel in the forthcoming Spring Festival. Bookings of domestic air tickets and hotels have increased significantly.
Traffic is getting heavier, more factories are running at full capacity, while the construction of new projects is underway.
So far, the focus of China's epidemic prevention and control has shifted from preventing infections to beefing up treatment of severe cases. From coordinating drug production to strengthening the treatment of severe cases, and from promoting vaccination to speeding up the resumption of production, China has effectively coordinated epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development.
Under the assistance of the government, pharmaceutical enterprises are running at full capacity. China has also optimized the circulation of drugs, testing reagents and protective goods for better epidemic control. Authorities in many regions provided the elderly with free "health kits," which usually include fever drugs and other anti-epidemic items.
By the middle of December 2022, more than 3.47 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered on the Chinese mainland, with over 90 percent of the population fully vaccinated. A total of 86.6 percent of people aged 60 or above had been fully vaccinated and the rate among people aged 80 or older was 66.4 percent. China also vowed to further ramp up vaccination efforts aimed at the elderly.
By Li Laifang, Chang Yuan, Li Baojie
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