“Immunity gap”?The West should pay more attention to the “Epidemic gap”

2022-05-31 0 By

This winter, there has been a new outbreak of the novel coronavirus strain of omicron.Omicron’s high infectivity and concealability make it much more difficult to control, but it is less pathogenic than the Delta strain.Against this backdrop, some European and American countries are planning or have begun to relax their quarantine measures.Some Western media and think tanks regard the epidemic prevention measures of Europe and the US as a benchmark. As European and Us countries have announced the lifting of quarantine restrictions one after another, some “experts” have begun to criticize China’s “dynamic zero-down” epidemic prevention policy.It has been suggested recently that the “dynamic zero-out” policy has created an “immunity gap” between China and other countries, making China more vulnerable to the spread of the omicron strain.People take part in a march in Washington, D.C., the United States, Jan. 23, 2019.Obviously, such remarks are based on strong political bias rather than scientific analysis of the epidemic situation.The scientific community is still debating whether the COVID-19 pandemic has reached an “inflection point” after the emergence of the Omicron strain.Dynamic zero has not only saved lives and reduced the number of deaths, but also minimized the economic and social impact of the epidemic, contributing to the global response and economic recovery.First of all, life is Paramount, and the first criterion for evaluating quarantine policies is the effectiveness of saving lives.At the overall population level, the “dynamic zero” policy will allow China to survive the COVID-19 pandemic with a very low number of deaths.In the past two years, the number of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations in China has been far below the global average.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide has exceeded 5.82 million as of Monday, with more than 910,000 deaths in the United States alone.China, a country of more than 1.4 billion people, has suffered only a few thousand deaths so far.According to the Novel Coronavirus Research Project at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, only three countries, including China, have less than one death case per 100,000 population.The recent decline in the global death rate from COVID-19 due to the gradual increase in vaccine coverage and the reduction in the virulence of the omicron strain has become the basis for some countries to believe that the COVID-19 epidemic is developing into a “pandemic” and plan to relax quarantine measures.But in reality, the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of ending anytime soon.The number of new cases globally continues to be high due to the highly transmissible omicron strain, and the number of new deaths remains at its highest level since the outbreak began.In the United States, for example, the average number of additional deaths has recently been higher than during the peak of the Spread of the Delta strain last fall.”More transmission of the virus means more deaths…It is too early for any country to surrender or declare victory.”Second, China has avoided a run on medical resources, minimized the impact of the epidemic, ensured social and economic development, and contributed to international cooperation against the epidemic and world economic recovery.China has taken the lead in bringing the epidemic under control, resuming work and production, and achieving economic growth.In 2021, China provided more than 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 120 countries and international organizations, making China the largest supplier of vaccine to other countries.Many observers have seen the positive impact of China’s epidemic prevention policy on stabilizing the world economy and ensuring supply chain security.China’s “dynamic zero-out” policy has prevented a large number of deaths in the country and ensured that goods from iphones and Tesla electric cars to fertilizer and auto parts continue to flow to the rest of the world, bloomberg Businessweek said in a commentary published on its website.If consumers and businesses want to keep buying Made-in-China goods and are not willing to put up with shortages and price rises, then they should hope China sticks to its policies.Otherwise, a surge in infections and deaths could bring global supply chains to a halt, leading to higher inflation.Medical staff work at the COVID-19 intensive care unit at a hospital in Bologna, Italy, Jan. 25, 2019.Third, the pattern of the novel Coronavirus mutation is not yet clear. The rush to relax the containment measures will accelerate the spread of the virus and provide a “breeding ground” for it to mutate, potentially breeding more dangerous strains of coronavirus.It is thought that the omicron strain is the result of evolutionary selection in which infectivity and pathogenicity have evolved in opposite directions, and that the virus will continue to evolve in a milder direction until it can “coexist” with humans.Wu Zunyou, chief expert on epidemiology at the Chinese CDC, said recently that “the stronger the transmission, the weaker the virulence, and the weaker the virulence” of the Coronavirus is virtually impossible to achieve biologically, and the novel Coronavirus mutation has not shown such a pattern, at least so far. It is too optimistic to assume that such a trend will occur in the future.The logic behind the link between vaccine protection and the “immunity gap” is absurd.The Omicron strain has shown an immune escape characteristic, and all COVID-19 vaccines are less effective in preventing infection.Who experts have repeatedly called for more than just vaccines to protect people, and for continued efforts such as social distancing to drive down transmission rates.The large number of deaths during the Omicron epidemic showed that the level of immunity in Europe and America was built at the cost of human life.Relaxation of control will greatly increase the risk of the virus mutating, and the emergence of new mutated strains may bring a new “immunity gap”.Thus, in order to obtain immunity and “hard break” the epidemic practice is not scientific at all.In fact, public health experts in many countries have expressed concern about “de-lock-in”.In fact, behind the so-called “final conclusion of the pandemic” and “open control of the epidemic” is the helplessness of some countries’ epidemic prevention policies to stop the spread of the virus.Behind belittling China’s epidemic prevention policy with the “immunization gap” is western public opinion turning a blind eye to its own epidemic prevention gap.In contrast, China’s “dynamic zero clearance” policy, which has been explored and formed from practice, is more proactive, demonstrating its responsibility for life and the world.Only by abandoning prejudice and politicizing the epidemic can some Western media and think tanks build more consensus, return to scientific discussions on epidemic prevention measures and help the world get out of the “darkest hour” of the epidemic at an early date.Source: Xinhua News Agency, reporter: Zhang Yinglin Xiaochun