Beijing: China, which is believed to be the originating place of the dreaded coronavirus, on Tuesday released a revised version of the COVID-19 prevention and control guidelines. China's National Health Commission has made alterations to contents such as COVID-19 etiological and epidemiological features, as well as epidemic monitoring and handling.
As per the the latest (seventh) version of COVID-19 prevention and control guidelines, China believes that the virus is mainly transmitted via respiratory droplets and close contact with infected persons. The latest version of the guidelines state that there are risks of contracting a virus infection when people are exposed to contaminated objects or environments "under certain conditions."
The guidelines further go on to state that when five or more cases that are linked by the same location of exposure are confirmed, it is regarded as an 'infection cluster'. In earlier versions, the guidelines identified the occurrence of two or more confirmed cases as an infection cluster.
For the convenience of epidemiological investigations, the latest version gave specific criteria for imported cases, new infections linked to imported cases, and close contacts of close contacts, among other terms.
As per the guidelines, the imported cases of COVID-19 will now include imported secondary cases, as well as close contacts of close contacts. It will investigate the source of infection, the scope of contamination, transmission characteristics and transmission chain. The latest guidelines have also revised the requirements for centralised isolation and home medical observation.
According to the guidelines, passengers entering the Chinese mainland should spend 7 days in isolation centers after taking a COVID-19 test at ports of entry, for medical observation. They must take another test before completing quarantine, it added.
The guidelines further went on to add that if the test result is negative, passengers from outside the Chinese mainland can isolate themselves at home for another 7 days before they are free to travel.
After reporting the first virus cases, China has been successful in flattening the COVID-19 curve. Meanwhile, two experimental vaccines developed by Sinovac Biotech and a unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) have already been approved for Phase III trials.