MOFA: China still puts people first in COVID-19 fight amid COVID response adjustment

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Thursday refuted Western media's allegations on China's COVID policy adjustment, stressing China's commitment to putting people and their lives first as unchanged.

A small number of Western media claimed China's COVID policy adjustment shows that China has changed its COVID response philosophy and no longer values people's lives. 

"This type of rhetoric completely misses the facts and scientific truth. Such rhetoric is ill-intentioned and aimed at discrediting China," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin responded at Thursday's regular press conference.

During this fight against COVID-19, China has effectively coordinated COVID response with economic and social development, and refined the response policy in light of the evolving situation, Wang pointed out.

He stressed that with Omicron much less pathogenic and deadly, and China's treatment, testing and vaccination capacity is steadily on the rise, China issued steps to treat COVID-19 as a Class-B instead of Class-A infectious disease, shifting the focus of the response from stemming infection to caring for people's health and preventing severe cases. "This shift is science-based, timely and necessary."

"This is also important from a strategic and long-term perspective for effectively coordinating COVID response with economic and social development and safeguarding the fundamental interests of the greatest majority of the people."

As response measures are being refined, relevant Chinese departments have worked actively to beef up medical resources, set up a multi-tiered and category-based diagnosis and treatment mechanism, and increased the production capacity and supply of medicines, Wang noted.

The spokesperson added the country has mobilized as many resources as possible to protect the elderly with underlying health conditions, pregnant and lying-in women, children and other key groups, and made every effort to reduce severe cases and deaths.

Several places around the world were reported to have imposed curbs on travelers from China such as requiring them to take COVID-19 tests after Beijing relaxed strict COVID-19 measures. 

Commenting on such a situation, Wang stressed China always believes that for all countries, COVID response measures need to be science-based and proportionate and apply equally to people of all countries without affecting normal travel and people-to-people exchange and cooperation.

Noting he has also noticed that many countries have said at the moment they do not plan to adjust their entry measures for travelers from China, Wang expressed the hope that countries will follow a science-based response approach and work together to ensure safe cross-border travel, keep global industrial and supply chains stable, and contribute to global solidarity against COVID and the world economic recovery.

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