China will keep fine-tuning its steps to control COVID-19 as it tries to minimize infections and serious cases, officials said on Saturday, a day after announcements of 20 newly released measures on pandemic prevention and control.
The measures were well conceived based on ample practical experience and related assessment data, said Chang Jile, deputy head of the disease prevention and control bureau under the National Health Commission.
Friday's measures included shorter quarantines for inbound travelers and those in close contact with infected people. Quarantines were cut by two days to eight, with the first five spent in a centralized facility.
At a press conference of the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19, Lei Haichao, deputy head of the NHC, added that these measures are aimed at effectively containing the virus, while minimizing its impact on economic and social development and public services crucial to people's lives.
"As new virus variants keep coming, while our knowledge of the disease deepens and the pandemic situation changes both at home and abroad, we don't rule out the possibility to further optimize and adjust our quarantine measures," Wang Liping, a researcher at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the news briefing.
China will stick with a prevention-oriented approach to achieve "as few infections as possible, as few serious, critical cases as possible," said Lei, noting that China has far fewer hospital beds per capita than developed countries.
The NHC reported 11,950 new COVID infections for Friday, low by global standards.