A staff member works in a COVID-19 testing lab in east China's Shanghai, on April 15 (XINHUA)
As its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has entered a critical stage, China has announced that it would stick to the dynamic zero-COVID approach, which has proved effective over the past more than two years.
The announcement came as a great relief and inspiration for the world as many countries are still going back and forth between tight and loose approaches when dealing with constant resurgences of the pandemic.
Scholars and experts from around the world have pointed out that China's dynamic zero-COVID approach is the best choice for the world's most populous country, and China's success in holding its ground would be vital for the world to clinch a final victory over the deadly pathogen.
More than two years of success
The Chinese mainland on April 18 reported 3,297 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 3,084 were in Shanghai, where 17,332 local asymptomatic carriers were also registered. Yet China still has not wavered in upholding the dynamic zero-COVID approach.
China's confidence in the approach stems from its success in keeping the disease largely under control for the last two-plus years.
Even though thousands of daily cases have been reported recently, China is still one of the countries with the world's lowest infection rates.
The flexible approach has also enabled China to strike a fine balance between pandemic control and economic development.
Among major economies, China has been the first to bring the pandemic largely under control, the first to resume work and production, and the first to achieve economic growth. In 2021, China's GDP increased by 8.1 percent over the previous year and its foreign trade exceeded 6 trillion U.S. dollars for the first time.
"When you look at the world, we can say that China's method is more suitable when considering public health," Bulent Ertugrul, an expert from Reyap Hospital in Istanbul, told Xinhua, noting that the dynamic zero-COVID approach has proved a significant success in China.
Echoing Ertugrul's words, Ethiopia's National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator Mebratu Massebo said China's dynamic zero-COVID approach can be recognized as "a very ideal response" to the pandemic.
"I am confident that with its stringent policy in place, China will wipe out the pandemic shortly and effectively," Massebo added.
Best way to mitigate risks
As some regions of China like Shanghai are till being shadowed by the current COVID-19 resurgence, the Chinese people and government are sparing no efforts to rein in the highly contagious virus.
It is no surprise that businesses and people's daily life have been affected by temporary closed-off management measures, but they are still the best way to mitigate risks and save lives.
Though seemingly less severe than Delta, the current Omicron variant still can cause serious symptoms especially among those with underlying conditions, the elderly, and those who are unvaccinated, and hospitalization and death are possible.
Lowering the guard would be disastrous for a country with 1.4 billion people, including 267 million aged 60 or above and more than 250 million children.
"If we are not firm about the dynamic zero-COVID policy, China may miss the best time to stem the resurgence of cases, which may lead to higher costs and unbearable consequences," said China's leading epidemiologist Liang Wannian.
The dynamic zero-COVID approach aims to ensure the health and safety of the people by containing epidemic flare-ups through timely actions, explained Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stressing that the dynamic zero-COVID approach is the best choice for China.
Aerial photo taken on April 11 shows the interior view of the makeshift hospital of Nanjing Youth Olympics Games Sports Park in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province (XINHUA)
In an article published recently on the Rwanda-based Africa-China Review news website, Gerald Mbanda, a Rwandan researcher and publisher, said China's dynamic zero-COVID approach is "the best option to save lives."
The approach's benefits outweigh the temporary inconveniences, the expert said. "As China defeated the first waves of COVID-19 infections, there is much optimism that even the current one will be soon be defeated because of the effective control measures."
Boon for world
Another important lesson that should be drawn from the anti-COVID fight in the last more than two years is China's success in containing the virus represents a boon for the world.
As the world's second largest economy, China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.
Just like Bloomberg has analyzed, over the past two years, China's anti-pandemic policy "has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world."
Even amid the current resurgence, Shanghai, an important link in the global supply chain, has never imposed what Western media described as a "lockdown." While traffic has been reduced due to the outbreaks, the Port of Shanghai has continued to operate around the clock.
Aerial photo taken on April 15 shows a view of Shanghai's Yangshan Port in east China (XINHUA)
Thanks to its dynamic zero-COVID approach, China has registered a stronger economic growth compared with other big economies around the world, said Cavince Adhere, a Kenya-based international relations scholar.
China's strong economic performance has been a boon for global economic stability and growth, Adhere said, adding that China's anti-COVID approach has enabled it to effectively contribute to the global response, providing other countries with materials, medicines and vaccines to confront the pandemic.
"China has shown the world that it is possible to contain such a kind of infectious diseases with dynamic zero-COVID policy," Massebo said. "It is a miracle for us to learn."