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Imperative that socializing and trips be cut: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-08-05 19:39

A volunteer (R) checks personal information of a resident before COVID-19 nucleic acid testing in Zhangjiajie, Central China's Hunan province, Aug 4, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

China announced 62 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the total number of existing domestic infections to 1,285 nationwide. With the tracing of close contacts of the confirmed cases to continue, more domestic infections are certain to be identified in the days to come.

It is of the utmost urgency to cut off the transmission channels for the virus as soon as possible. The resurgence of the novel coronavirus in most parts of the world has shown that even with the vaccination drive gathering speed, there must be strict adherence to the prevention and control protocols and people need to take the necessary preventive measures to try and avoid being infected.

In a teleconference held by the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council in Beijing, Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, underlined the need for stringent implementation of anti-epidemic measures to curb the resurgence of the virus.

Having just returned from a fact-finding trip to Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, from where the latest outbreak seems to have spread to other provinces, Sun stressed that all relevant departments should be immediately mobilized and take action. She called on all localities to make epidemic prevention and control their top priority — focusing on "prevention" if they have no infections and responding "quickly" if any are detected. She also stressed the importance of ensuring that the command system operate smoothly, receiving timely updates of any new infections 24 hours a day.

With the virus having already spread to many places from Nanjing, the epidemic situation is clearly grave, which explains why all local governments are requiring their residents not to leave the place where they reside unless absolutely necessary.

China would not have succeeded in largely bringing the virus under control in 2020 without the cooperation and contribution of the public, who not only strictly abided by the prevention and control measures but also did what they could to help ensure the measures were implemented to the letter.

Yet with almost all parts of the country free from the virus for more than a year, and sporadic outbreaks of local infections being brought under control in a short period of time, many people are no longer as prudent as they were and some have even assumed that the virus will always be far removed from them.

Slackened prevention and control measures and some people's lack of vigilance have been the prime causes of the latest outbreak in Nanjing. Some people may feel bad about having to cancel the summer holiday trips they had planned. Scenic spots may lament the likely reduction in their holiday revenues as the number of visitors will drop by a large margin. However, their cooperation, and that of everyone, will be essential for the country to bring this wave of the virus under control as early as possible.

Refraining from socializing and canceling trips today is a small price to pay for a tomorrow free of the virus.

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