TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China continues to battle its worst COVID-19 outbreak, pushed by the omicron variant, with overall health officers on Friday calling the scenario “severe and intricate.”

The place has counted far more than 56,000 situations considering that March 1, according to national wellness officers, who gave a press briefing Friday. Far more than 50 % of those scenarios have been recorded in northeastern Jilin province and include asymptomatic cases as properly. The figures do not contain Hong Kong, which tracks its COVID-19 knowledge independently.

China carries on striving to “reach dynamic zero-COVID in the short term, as it is however the most cost-effective and most successful avoidance strategy against COVID-19,” reported Wu Zunyou, an infectious sickness skilled at China’s Heart for Illness Manage.

“Only by undertaking dynamic zero-COVID can we eliminate the hidden hazards of the epidemic, avoid the operate on medical sources that could be prompted by large-scale bacterial infections and prevent a significant number of feasible deaths of the elderly or individuals with fundamental conditions,” Wu added.

The “zero-COVID” approach relies on lockdowns and mass testing, with close contacts frequently becoming quarantined at household or in a central federal government facility. The strategy focuses on eradicating group transmission of the virus as promptly as achievable, in some cases by locking down whole cities.

Final 7 days, Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged the toll of the stringent actions, expressing China should really seek “maximum effect” with “minimum cost” in controlling the virus. Due to the fact then, officers have emphasized that they will be certain their approach and constraints are targeted.

For case in point, authorities adjusted mass testing actions so they really don’t entail entire metropolitan areas and are targeted rather at particular neighborhoods or locations, in line with wherever the virus turns up, Jiao Yahui, a senior official with the Countrywide Health and fitness Commission, mentioned at a press briefing Tuesday.

Wellbeing officers are particularly involved about individuals aged 60 and older and spent a lot of Friday’s press briefing urging people today to get vaccinated.

Tale continues

Countrywide information released very last week confirmed that in excess of 52 million men and women aged 60 and older have yet to be vaccinated with any COVID-19 vaccine.

Booster premiums are also low, with only 56.4% of people amongst 60-69 possessing gained a booster shot, and 48.4% of individuals amongst 70-79 possessing gained just one.

The problem in Hong Kong has highlighted the value of vaccinating the elderly individuals. The day-to-day demise toll in the semi-autonomous area remains higher than 200, according to Wu, the CDC official. A large the vast majority of Hong Kong’s COVID-19 deaths have been among the those who are not thoroughly vaccinated, with numerous in the aged population.

The city reported 10,401 new cases Friday, continuing a downward development, despite the fact that social distancing steps have nevertheless to be rolled back again. The metropolis has recorded more than 1 million scenarios in the latest surge.

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