Dahai ZHAO’s Exclusive Interview with CGTN: Tianjin taking scientific prevention and control after omicron found
Dahai Zhao, a doctoral supervisor at the School of International and Public Affairs of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Executive Director of Shanghai Jiao Tong University-Yale University Joint Research Center for Health Policy, has been interviewed by CGYN for the 68st time (the 117st time by CGTN / ShanghaiTV) since the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 13, Zhao commented on COVID prevention and control measures in Tianjin city and prevention and control strategies nationwide on CGTN “China 24”.
Moderate: Tianjin is now seeing a rise in the current of coronavirus cases. How do you think the city is coping?
ZHAO: Considering the pandemic has not been under control, the city has to go all out to cope with a pandemic. First, the local government tries to confirm the full implementation of the lockdown regulations in the lockdown areas, particularly in the Jinnan district, the citizens also should comply with the regulations. For example, people who live in the lockdown areas cannot go outside except for permission. In addition, the local government tries to ensure the basic living demands of the citizens. Second, the local government, social organizations, and citizens in the low-risk areas in Tianjin should confirm the full implementation of the traditional preventing measures. For example, when people go outside, they must wear face masks and not attend gatherings. In addition, all people in Tianjin try to be fully vaccinated including the 3rd dose of vaccine. Another round of mass testing is also needed.
Moderate: Now, as you said, another round of mass testing, and Tianjin officials are carrying out that. In fact, health officials said a city-wide screening last month found cases that couldn't be properly tracked.
ZHAO: My answer is yes. Due to the fact that the spread speed of the COVID-19 virus is so fast, one missing confirmed case may lead to a large number of infected cases even a larger outbreak in a very short period of time. Therefore, I believe when they cannot treat infections, they will be extremely worried, even desperate If it's very clear to trace all close contacts of all confirmed cases in a short period of time, it's not necessary to conduct mass testing. The current local outbreak in Tianjin has a trend of community spread that it is not easy to find the spread rooting of all conformity through the traditional epidemiological method. Therefore mass testing is really necessary. Considering the accuracy of one round of mass testing is not very high, and the community spread in Tianjin is clear, I believe the second round of mass testing is necessary. As far as I know, multi-mass testing, which has been fully confirmed in a lot of cities in China, is the best way and the most effective way to cope with the pandemic.
Contributor: SIPA, SJTU
Date: January 14, 2021