Chinese premier reveals ‘more scientific and effective’ pandemic response

Beijing, Mar 5 (EFE).- China must ensure the management of the Covid-19 pandemic is “more effective and scientific” from now on, outgoing Premier Li Keqiang said Sunday during the inauguration of the National Popular Assembly.

Li’s words represent another step in the dismantling of the strict “zero Covid-19” policy that began in December after almost three years of harsh restrictions.

Li, who said the pandemic “has not ended,” said in his work report that the country has entered a “phase of regulated actions” against the disease, which in January went from being classified as a level disease A, the most dangerous, to B, which entails more lax prevention measures.

The premier said China “has managed to effectively protect the safety and health of the people”, after the relaxation of the measures last December caused a wave of infections that overwhelmed the health system.

Shortly before the start of the dismantling of the “zero Covid-19” policy, weariness over the restrictions led to protests in some Chinese cities.

“The Chinese people have overcome many difficulties and made sacrifices, which has not been easy at all,” Li said, speaking od China’s handling of the pandemic as “a great decisive victory.”

Despite the relaxation of the strategy, the conclave that began Sunday and is considered the main annual political event in China is still being held under Covid-19 measures.

Those attending the meeting, with the exception of the highest-level leaders, wear masks and the attending reporters had to carry out a PCR test the day before and quarantine in a hotel designated by the organization.

Last month, the leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China proclaimed that after “an extraordinary journey,” a “decisive victory” was won since the dismantling of the restrictions in December.

The “zero Covid-19” policy, which had been in force for almost three years, consisted of confinements wherever infections were detected, monitoring of citizen movements, almost total closure of borders and constant PCR tests on the population.

“China created a miracle in human history,” the ruling party leaders said.

Between Dec. 8 and Feb. 9, the period that covers the withdrawal of the strictest prevention measures and the subsequent wave of infections, 83,150 deaths in hospitals related to Covid-19 were registered in China. EFE


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