Chinese vice premier urges local governments to maintain zero-case policy and eliminate new cases as soon as possible

Residents line up for COVID-19 nucleic acid tests in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, March 11, 2022. Photo: IC

On Saturday, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan urged regions with severe outbreaks to maintain the country’s aggressive zero-case policy to eliminate COVID-19 cases among the general public as soon as possible.

Sun made the request during a national teleconference of the State Council for Joint Prevention and Control of COVID-19.

Sun said epidemic outbreaks in China are becoming more frequent and the pressure for prevention and control is increasingly acute. She stressed that epidemic prevention and control efforts should target the characteristics of the Omicron variant, to promote the surveillance model of “antigen testing for screening, nucleic acid testing for diagnosis”, with antigen kits for self-testing now available to the public. , which are better at spotting confirmed cases as early as possible, to improve early warning mechanisms.

According to media reports, China will start using COVID-19 antigen testing as an additional method to improve its early detection capability, the National Health Commission said in a notice on Friday.

Compared to nucleic acid tests – the dominant tool widely deployed in the country’s mass testing campaigns, antigen tests return results faster but are generally less accurate.

Capital reports new cases

Beijing reported three new local cases of COVID-19 from Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday, with officials urging Beijing residents not to leave the city unless necessary.

The Beijing municipal government held the 288th press conference on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic on Saturday. Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the conference that the three cases consist of two confirmed cases and one asymptomatic carrier. The three cases are respectively from the districts of Mentougou, Shunyi and Chaoyang.

Xu Hejian, spokesperson for the municipal government, said at the conference that with the overseas epidemic situation remaining serious, China’s domestic epidemic situation will remain complex as authorities in multiple regions discover new cases, adding that the capital now faces the risk of imported cases. overseas and other parts of China.

“With several districts in Beijing identifying new infections caused by imported cases, epidemic prevention and control in Beijing should remain strict and we ask citizens of Beijing not to leave the city unless necessary,” noted Xu.

world times

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