China COVID Experts Outline 5 Strategies for Opening Up

By Lars James Hamer, April 25, 2022

0 0

On April 6, COVID-19 experts Zhong Nanshan and Guang Weijie published an article in the National Science Review entitled Strategies for Reopening in the Forthcoming COVID-19 Era in China.

The article was translated from English to Chinese and reported on the Chinese mainland (but subsequently removed). An article covering the story is still available via Hong Kong-based media outlet South China Morning Post


The cover of the national science review. Image via National Science Review

Zhong and Guang's paper outlines five recommendations in order for China to safely open the country, stating that: “China needs to reopen so as to normalize socio-economic development and adapt to global reopening. Prolonged dynamic zeroing cannot be pursued in the long run.”

Zhong and Guang begin the report by outlining the risks of the acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19. They highlight that the omicron variant carries a “considerably higher mortality risk than seasonal influenza.” Therefore, a rapid opening-up policy could lead to social instability and other COVID-19 variants. 

Vaccinations and Herd Immunity

624a4d49ly8h1ltmh08a8j20go0b4q3c.jpgImage via Weibo@美通社资讯

The first recommendation in the report calls for nationwide vaccinations, which will lead to herd immunity. Zhong has previously vocalized the importance of herd immunity in order for the country to reopen its borders.   

READ MORE: Leading COVID-19 Expert Says When China's Borders Can Reopen

As of February 28, 2022, China had vaccinated almost 88% of the population, with 40% having taken a third dose. The report states that those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 lead to a “markedly reduced mortality rate.”

In January, Zhong said that with 83% of the country vaccinated, China had built a “certain level of herd immunity.” 

READ MORE: Leading COVID-19 Expert Says China Has Built Herd Immunity

COVID-19 Medicine and Antibodies

Paxlovid.jpegImage via Wikimedia

Second, Zhong and Guang touch upon the benefit of targeted medicines and potent neutralizing antibodies for treating COVID-19. They go on to mention that this area would benefit from accelerated research, but a limited number of patients for studies in the Chinese mainland could prove a challenge. Therefore, international collaboration is encouraged. 

READ MORE: China’s New COVID-19 Drug Ready For Use

Rapid Anitgen Tests

50894004668_2c3a7d7a7b_h.jpegImage via Flickr@Marco Verch Professional Photographer

The report argues that Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) should be prioritized in community settings.

Not only do they reduce the burden on medical facilities and personnel, but they also ensure “timely identification of the source patient, on which basis population-based screening with viral nucleic acid testing can be reserved for close contacts.”

RATs are currently being used across Shanghai as the city remains in lockdown, and were rolled out in some areas of Guangzhou in April.

READ MORE: A Change in Approach? Rapid Antigen Tests Being Used in Guangzhou

Quarantine Periods

covid19-5147098_1280.jpegImage via Pixabay

The penultimate recommendation calls for a strengthening of the length of follow-up investigations for positive cases. This will allow accurate decisions to be made on the duration of quarantine periods. 

READ MORE: China to Trial 10-Day Central Quarantine for Overseas Arrivals

Pilot Investigations

001RhaGLly1h1iq6g72b9j60jg0cy3z102.jpgImage via Weibo@北京晚报

The fifth and final suggestion is for pilot investigations to be trialed in cities and regions within China, and that policies should be adjusted “according to the epidemic characteristics of imported cases.” 

Zhong and Guang argue that this will be important in determining the outcomes of a transition towards a “safe and orderly social reopening in China.”

In March, That’s published an article outlining four signs that China is preparing to open its borders. While we are by no means COVID-19 experts, nor as smart as Zhong Nanshan and co, several of the points mentioned in his report were also put forward by us. 

READ MORE: 4 Signs That China May Soon Open Its Borders

[Cover image via Twitter@Zhang Meifang张美芳]

more news

China Halts Visas for South Koreans & Japanese Over COVID Rules

The measures are in effect, as of press time.

4 Takeaways From China’s Latest COVID Press Conference

The State Council held a press conference at 3pm today, Tuesday, November 29.

8 Things You Need to Know About China’s New COVID Rules

A number of key announcements have been made.

‘China Must Stick With Dynamic-Zero COVID’ – People’s Daily

A piece published by the Chinese state media outlet indicates China will not change its underlying COVID policy for now.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives