No letup in vigilance against the virus

Volunteers help a staff member put on protection suit at Furongli residential community in Haidian District in Beijing, Oct 26, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

With just 968 local cases reported in the past 20 days in 20 provincial level regions since Oct 17, the Chinese mainland has basically managed to keep the rapid spread of this wave of COVID-19 infections within limited small areas.

The risk of the virus being further spread has been greatly minimized, and it is expected that this round of infections will soon be brought completely under control.

Several provinces where local cases were reported in the middle of last month have been free from new local infections for more than 10 days, indicating that the swift actions local governments have taken seem to have paid off.

Of the more than 30 waves of local infections since the first wave early last year, the current one has been the most extensive and serious.

That all these local clusters of infections began with imported cases speaks volumes about the importance various local governments must attach to the control and prevention measures to guard against the virus entering the country from overseas.

That the first cases were at land ports this time suggests there are loopholes in the control and prevention measures at local land ports, which need to be plugged.

First and foremost, local governments and relevant departments must do a good job in finding out how the screening mechanisms failed to intercept the cases passing through the ports, and then corresponding measures must be taken to strengthen these.

That the chains of infections in this wave were formed at gatherings such as weddings or tour groups suggests a lack of vigilance on the part of those who participate in such events. People's awareness of the risks needs to be raised.

With temperatures falling, it is easier for the virus to stay alive on surfaces longer and easier for people to catch the virus. The likelihood has increased considerably for people to get infected with the virus if they come into contact with an infected person or an asymptomatic case.

So even after this wave of infections is brought under complete control, there should be no letup on control and prevention measures as far as local governments at all levels are concerned. They need to further identify the deficiencies in their prevention and control work and further consolidate the country's defenses against the virus.

Communities play an important role in the prevention and control work. Efforts at this level need to be reinforced to further raise the awareness of every individual resident that the vigilance and the concrete measures they take against the virus make a great difference to the national battle.