Since January 2020, China has classified COVID as a Category B infectious disease but has managed it under Category A protocols. This decision allowed local authorities the power to confine patients and their close contacts into quarantine and lock down the affected areas.
In China, Category A diseases include cholera and bubonic plague, whereas SARS, AIDS, and anthrax belong to Category B. Some diseases, such as leprosy, mumps, and influenza, are classified as Category C.
Infectious diseases such as COVID, with strong pathogenicity and strong infectivity, are classified as Category A or Category B but managed as Category A.
Reuters cited an unnamed infectious disease expert, saying that over 95% of the cases in China are asymptomatic and mild. Besides, the fatality is very low, so sticking to Category management is not in line with science.
The expert told state media outlet Yicai, that COVID might be downgraded to Category B management or even Category C.
Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has become the first high-ranking government official to publicly acknowledge the diminishing ability to spread of the new coronavirus. She said that China is facing “a new situation” as the pathogenicity of the Omicron virus weakens.
Since she made the announcement, numerous large cities have started to lift large-scale lockdowns, reduce regular PCR testing and stop checking for negative results at public areas like subway stations and outdoor parks.
The National Health Commission reported that on December 4, there were over 30,000 new infections, of which over 4,000 were symptomatic and nearly 26,000 were asymptomatic. No deaths were recorded on this day, keeping fatalities at 5,235.
A day earlier, China reported almost 32,000 new cases, with over 4,000 symptomatic and about 28,000 asymptomatic infections, with only two deaths.As of December 4, mainland China had reported 340,483 cases with symptoms.