China to remain alert even as WHO declares COVID-19 global emergency over
A top Chinese health official said that despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) ending the worldwide emergency designation for COVID-19, the virus is still dangerous and China will continue to monitor it while boosting vaccination rates among high-risk groups.
More than three years after its initial statement, the WHO lifted the highest level of alert for COVID-19 on Friday, stating that nations should now handle the virus together with other infectious diseases.
According to Liang Wannian, head of China’s COVID-19 response expert group under the National Health Commission, the warning status being lifted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) does not imply COVID-19 will go away, but its effects can now be successfully managed. The interview with state media CCTV was broadcast on Saturday.
Liang said that China will continue to track virus mutations, step up immunisation campaigns for vulnerable populations, and work to advance treatment options for COVID-19.
Long after the majority of nations began to deal with the COVID-19 virus, China maintained its zero tolerance policy and didn’t start to relax it until late in the year 2022.
Although experts have questioned Beijing’s figures, China’s senior authorities announced a “decisive victory” against COVID-19 and claimed the country had the lowest death rate in the world in February.
(With inputs from agencies)
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