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Expert explains measures against Class B infectious disease
Date:2023-01-13 17:31:10 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

Starting from Jan 8, China will downgrade management of the disease from Class A to Class B infectious disease, in a major shift of its epidemic control policies. What does this adjustment mean? How will the prevention and control measures change after the adjustment? Ni Chaorong, director of the Infectious Disease Prevention Institute of the Wenzhou Center for Disease Prevention and Control, gave detailed answers to the public concerns.

What are measures against Class B infectious disease?

There are 27 Class B infectious diseases in China

Ni Chaorong said that in accordance with the country’s law on prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, which are classified as Class A, B, C, and other infectious diseases. Among them, there are 2 Class A, 27 Class B, and 11 Class C infectious diseases. Class B infectious diseases include novel coronavirus, SARS, AIDS, rabies, measles, etc.

Authorities can take corresponding measures to these three classes infectious disease cases, including surveillance, intervention, treatment and other related measures, said the law. “After full consideration, China aims to better coordinate the epidemic prevention and control, and economic and social development, and focus on target prevention and control areas and measures,” Ni explained.

“In fact, there are precedents for the dynamic management of infectious disease control measures in China,” Ni Chaorong said. “SARS and avian influenza were downgraded from Class A to Class B, and the H1N1 influenza, once a Class B infectious disease, was finally downgraded to Class C infectious disease for surveillance and management.”

What are the changes after the classification adjustment?

Focus on enhanced services and assurance

Ni believed that the most significant adjustments are as follows:

Citizens are no longer required for regular PCR tests. When Covid-19 was classified as Class A infectious disease, it is mainly through proactive methods to confirm infectious cases, such as mass testing of risky groups and regular testing in risky areas. After the adjustment, infectious cases will be reported by the statistics of hospital and clinic visits, antigen tests, and surveillance of vulnerable groups.

Authorities will drop quarantine measures against people infected with novel coronavirus. Before the adjustment, infectious and suspected cases should be quarantined. And close contacts should be subject to epidemiological investigation and quarantine observation. After the adjustment, infectious persons will no longer be subject to quarantine, and close contacts will not be identified. High-risk and low-risk areas will no longer be designated. Asymptomatic and mild symptom persons only need to stay at home for self-isolation and treatment.

Disease prevention and control will focus on some places, institutions, and groups of people vulnerable to disease. Nursing homes, children’s welfare homes, childcare institutions, and schools must continue the epidemic prevention and control measures to delay the peak of the epidemic and reduce the infectious cases.

“However, at the beginning of last December, Wenzhou adjusted the epidemic prevention and control measures, including PCR tests and quarantine. After the adjustment, people may not feel the obvious changes in daily life.” Ni further explained. “The adjustment is by no means relaxation of prevention rules but shifts the focus to improving medical services and assurance.”

How should the public do?

Everyone is responsible for their own health.

“After the adjustment, everyone is responsible for their own health,” Ni said that. “We must keep good personal hygiene habits and healthy lifestyles we have developed over the past three years, and always pay attention to personal protection.”

He reminded that vulnerable groups, such as the elderly aged 60 and over, people with serious underlying diseases and low immunity, are expected to be fully vaccinated and improve immunization as soon as possible to reduce the risk of severe disease.

If you have symptoms such as fever and cough, you can do an antigen test first. If you test positive and the symptoms are not severe, you can stay at home for treatment; if the symptoms get worse, you need to go to hospital in time. You should not go out unless necessary. When you stay at home, try to stay in a separate and well-ventilated room and use a separate bathroom.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle such as regular work and rest, healthy diet, and keep a good mood; wear masks when going to crowded places or take public transportation; open windows at home and workplaces regularly for ventilation; maintain good indoor hygiene. If the epidemic is at the peak, try to reduce going out and gathering activities, especially the elderly with underlying diseases, and vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women should be more alert.