The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that it has intensified surveillance at international airports, asking travellers to fill health forms, in addition to checking their temperature, in response to the surge in the spread of COVID-19. It also decides that Nigeria will not spontaneously ban travellers from China from entering the country, which I believe would be highly appreciated by the Chinese investors who are expected to come to Nigeria one after another.
As is known, China has announced that it will be downgrading its management of COVID-19 as of January 8, treating it as a Class B infection, rather than a more serious Class A infection.
Yes, surging cases have been recorded recently. But people should not worry about the situation because China is able to bring it under control.
First, China has accumulated rich experience in the prevention and control of COVID-19. Since placing the management of COVID-19 in Class A infection in 2020, China has given an effective solution in line with its national conditions with the lowest overall social cost, tested in practice. Three years on, China has effectively coped with over 100 COVID-19 epidemic outbreaks and managed to keep its incidence rate, severe illness rate and mortality rate at the world’s lowest level, helping its people avoid being infected by stronger variants of the virus.
Second, China has adjusted its COVID-19 protocol based on science. In light of how the epidemic situation has evolved, the current variant of the virus, though more transmissible, has become less virulent than earlier ones, and few cases present as pneumonia.
Third, China’s effective epidemic prevention has bought itself a critical window opportunity to build up a relatively solid immunity barrier. As of January 4, 2023, a total of 3.48 billion doses of vaccines had been administered to 1.39886 billion people in China, of which 1.275855 billion had been fully vaccinated, which means 92.9 per cent of the entire population had been covered by vaccination. Such high coverage has effectively reduced the rate of severe cases.
Fourth, China has all along shared information with the international community in a timely, open and transparent manner. China shared the genome sequence of the virus at the earliest opportunity, making important contributions to the drug and vaccine research and development in countries around the world. China has carried out over 60 technical exchanges with the World Health Organization over the past three years, including four in the last month alone. China shared the genome data of the virus from the latest COVID-19 cases in China via the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data. China will continue to closely monitor whether the virus would mutate, share information on COVID-19 in a timely, open and transparent manner in accordance with the law, and work with the international community to address the COVID-19 challenge.
China is well prepared, and its move of COVID-19 control measures is by no means passive or laissez-faire. Entering a new phase of COVID-19 prevention and control, China is closely watching the features of the virus to keep abreast of the situation. At present, China’s COVID-19 situation is improving and some provinces and cities have gone through the infection peak, where life and work are coming back to normal at a faster pace.
As a Nigerian journalist and editor-in-chief of Africa China Economy Magazine, Ikenna Emewu, wrote in China Daily, China’s revised protocol is “good omen for the world.”
China became the first major economy in the world to register positive economic growth in 2020. China’s average annual economic growth rate for the past three years stood at around 4.5 per cent, higher than the global average, making an important contribution to global economic growth. In the thick of the global fight against COVID-19, China served as an important provider of supplies, offering strong support for other countries’ epidemic response and playing an irreplaceable role in keeping global industrial and supply chains stable.
- Chu Maoming is China’s Consul General in Lagos