China’s National Health Commission has updated the COVID-19 prevention and control guidelines by revising etiological and epidemiological features and epidemic monitoring. The revised guidelines emphasise that respiratory droplets remain the main route of coronavirus transmission but there is still a risk of infection through contaminated objects or through aerosol spread under certain conditions.
For zoning areas, the infection cluster was earlier identified when there were two or more coronavirus cases from the same location of exposure. However, the latest guidelines have updated it to five or more cases from a single location to identify it as infection cluster. For epidemiological investigations, the latest version has revised the definition of imported cases.
The imported cases of coronavirus will now include imported secondary cases, close contacts of close contacts. It will investigate the source of infection, the scope of contamination, transmission characteristics and transmission chain. It has also revised the requirements for centralised isolation and home medical observation.
The virus prevention and control in the low-risk areas will be implemented by strengthening surveillance and preparedness and delineate its scope in medium-risk areas to the smallest unit. The units include classes in schools, workplaces in factories, offices in workplaces, and households in rural areas.
For the prevention of imported cases, the inbound traveller will be quarantined at the place of entry for seven days and undergo the nucleic acid test at their own expense. Those with negative test results will be transferred for home isolation for seven days and will voluntarily undergo another test at their own expense.
China has successfully flattened the coronavirus infection curve and has been trying to build a different narrative around the pandemic which originated in Wuhan. The two experimental vaccines developed by Sinovac Biotech and a unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) have already been approved for Phase III trials. Officials and state-controlled media have been trying to present the revival of Wuhan and vaccine development as a success story of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).