Expert: China to face 'disaster' if it moves away from zero-COVID policy
Wang Mengjie

The latest COVID-19 waves in Shanghai and Beijing have put China's dynamic zero-COVID policy under the spotlight. 

China has upheld the strategy, which involves tracing and isolating positive cases and their close contacts as soon as possible to maintain zero-COVID in non-quarantine zones.

"If we don't stick to the policy, it would cause nationwide panic and medical disorder, which will further damage the social and economic status of a country of 1.4 billion people," Liu Qingquan, president of Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, told CGTN.

"We need to stick to it. Otherwise, we will face a disaster," he stressed.

Liu went to Wuhan in 2020 as a member of the National Health Commission high-level expert team to study the local response to COVID-19. This May, he went to Shanghai and worked on the COVID-19 frontline during its worst outbreak to date.

"From Wuhan to Shanghai, we've earned plenty of experience in fighting COVID-19," Liu said.

"After encountering the virus in Wuhan, we've come up with the 'Chinese experience' by combining Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western medicines, and implementing the dynamic zero-COVID policy," Liu said, adding that all the virus battles were positioned after Wuhan, which means "we were prepared, but each fight varied, from the type of the strains to the speed of transmissions."

As an expert of traditional Chinese medicine, Liu believes the combination of Western and traditional Chinese medicines has had an effect of "one-plus-one is equal to more than two" in terms of the COVID-19 treatment.

He also stressed that lessons need to be learned with every victory.

"Don't use your hands to touch your noses or mouths if you're out and haven't washed them," said Liu, adding that people need to wear masks in places of gathering, such as elevators. "If we don't learn lessons, the virus has come and gone for nothing.”  

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