Xi Jinping delivers speech at meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on COVID-19 prevention and control work

The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held a meeting on Feb 16 to hear a report on the recent COVID-19 prevention and control work. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting and delivered an important speech.

It was pointed out at the meeting that over the past more than three years, China has undertaken an extraordinary journey in its fight against COVID-19. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has always put the people and their lives first, and has united and led the whole Party and the people of all ethnic groups to fight COVID-19 with one heart and one mind. With a strong sense of responsibility and strategic resolve, we have optimized and adjusted the COVID-19 prevention and control measures in light of the evolving situation, and effectively balanced pandemic containment with economic and social development. As a result, we have succeeded in preventing the widespread prevalence of variants that are more virulent and fatal, effectively protecting people’s safety and health, and buying us precious time for winning the battle against the pandemic. Since November 2022, we have been optimizing our response measures to focus on safeguarding health and preventing severe cases, and secured a smooth transition within a short period of time. As a result, more than 200 million people were treated and nearly 800,000 patients in severe condition received effective treatment. China’s mortality rate of COVID-19 has been kept at the lowest level globally. We have scored a decisive victory in our response to COVID-19. China, a country with a large population of 1.4 billion, has created a remarkable feat in the history of human civilization by successfully walking out of the pandemic. Practices have proved that the Party Central Committee’s assessments of the epidemic situation, its major decisions about the prevention and control work, and important adjustments it has made to the response strategies are absolutely correct and recognized by the people. That explains why remarkable progress has been made.

It was stressed at the meeting that the overall situation of COVID-19 response is good nationwide, and the country is steadily entering a new phase of COVID-19 prevention and control, which has been downgraded back under the management of Class B infectious diseases. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, and the virus is still mutating.

All departments and local authorities should, with a strong sense of responsibility, thoroughly review the experience and practices of the past three years, especially those implemented in recent period, improve relevant mechanisms and measures, strengthen the COVID-19 prevention and control work in the new phase, build a stronger health service system, and firmly consolidate what has been achieved.

The meeting called for earnestly implementing the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee, stressing that local authorities, relevant departments, employers and individuals should strictly shoulder their own responsibilities. Particular attention should be paid to key links of pandemic prevention and control, those at high risk from COVID-19 should be kept under reasonable protection, and more work should be done to strengthen response measures on the basis of what has been achieved.

Efforts must be made to strengthen the capability for epidemic monitoring and routine warning, improve the epidemic monitoring and information reporting system, so that timely and accurate early warnings can be issued and necessary prevention and control measures taken in emergency. The next phase of vaccination work should be arranged in a scientific manner based on virus mutations and vaccine efficacy, and work should be done to have more elderly people vaccinated. Endeavors should be made toward building a healthcare system, under which detection and screening of cases, treatment of the infected and protection of those at higher risk as well as providing of supplies are carried out at different levels in an orderly manner. Work should continue to optimize the distribution of resources, and build stronger three-tiered healthcare networks with public medical institutions as the mainstay.

It was stressed at the meeting that efforts should be made to better secure the production and supply of medical materials, improve the reserve system and catalog, consolidate and improve the mechanism responsible for coordinated allocation of personnel and supplies, and effectively make up the deficiencies in term of capacity, medicines, equipment and other aspects at the primary level. Breakthroughs in scientific and technological research in the health field need to be achieved in a well-coordinated way, and the strength from all parties should be pooled to improve the technological level in this regard. It is important to cherish what has been achieved in the fight against COVID-19, tell well stories about China’s fight against the virus, inspire the entire Party and people of all ethnic groups to have confidence in prevailing over whatever adversities in the future and march forward by overcoming all obstacles on the new journey in the new era.

Other matters were also discussed at the meeting.

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