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Balancing the fight against the epidemic and development

Lai XianjinLai Xianjin*

Population flow between cities and between urban and rural areas has increased significantly thanks to the summer holidays, with more and more migrant workers returning home and students traveling to meet friends and family, increasing pressure on prevention work. and epidemic control.

Chinese officials reiterated that COVID-19 outbreaks still need to be addressed in a very timely manner in order to stabilize the economy and minimize development risks.

As such, authorities need to strike a balance between anti-pandemic measures and socio-economic development, which is all the more important as the international environment has become more complex this year and China has struggled to contain sporadic outbreaks of COVID-19 in many places, which affected the economic recovery.

Anti-pandemic measures must be effective and fast enough to check the spread of the new coronavirus, especially the Ómicron variant, and cut transmission chains, so that socio-economic development projects can progress smoothly. For example, nucleic acid testing should be rapid and regular at affected sites to facilitate effective screening and community management.

The relationship between anti-pandemic measures and socio-economic development must be fully understood and one-size-fits-all approaches and measures avoided. For example, once the outbreak is contained in one location, a series of measures must be implemented to stabilize the local economy, including policies to rescue market entities, create more jobs, remove obstacles in upstream and downstream logistics and supply chains. industry and help companies to resume and, if possible, increase production.

The fact that China is trying to find a balance between anti-pandemic measures and economic development does not mean that it has relaxed its efforts to contain COVID-19. Rather, it means that China aims to improve overall planning and balance epidemic control with socio-economic development.

Since March, China’s economic development has withstood the most severe test since the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020. And despite multiple challenges, China achieved economic growth of 2.5% in the first half of the year. 2022, according to the report by the National Bureau of Statistics. However, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve growth of 5.5 percent, set in the Government Work Report, for the full year.

Faced with these facts, China must strive to contain the spread of the virus at the lowest development cost. It should, for example, use unconventional tools and measures to stabilize the economy, facilitating the full resumption of economic activities and helping to boost investment in infrastructure construction and stimulate domestic demand.

In addition, it should better coordinate anti-pandemic measures and economic development, for example, implementing anti-pandemic measures in strict accordance with the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Plan (Ninth Edition) that the Joint Mechanism for Prevention and Control of. Control of the State Council , Cabinet of China, issued in June to optimize the work of epidemic prevention and control.

In addition, higher authorities should prevent governments and local communities from taking excessive policy measures and one-size-fits-all measures to contain outbreaks, making full use of modern technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence to strengthen information sharing and mutual recognition. of anti-pandemic tools. In addition, all regions and departments must strictly implement the policies and measures to stabilize the economy issued by the State Council.

In addition, it is imperative that authorities push forward research and investigation, help market entities, consumers and strive for economic stabilization measures to be effective.

*Associate Professor of Public Management at the National Academy of Governance of China

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