GENEVA, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's anti-COVID experience offers important lessons for many countries, and its optimized COVID-19 strategy is in the right direction, a Swiss health expert has said.
Some European countries such as Italy, Spain and France had followed the strategy that China "effectively put in place in the early phases of the pandemic," said Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute of Global Health at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva.
"When the pandemic emerged in Wuhan, the response from the Chinese authorities was quite good," Flahault told Xinhua in a video interview. "The Chinese government did apply very strict and effective measures at the time to tackle the pandemic and to avoid its spread all over the country."
Before a full deployment of vaccines, China and a lot of countries in the Asia-Pacific region had adopted a zero-COVID strategy, which was "more effective than the Western response at that time," said the expert.
With the mutation of the virus, the popularization of vaccination, and the accumulation of experience in prevention and control, China has announced that it will downgrade management of the disease from Class A to Class B starting from Jan. 8.
From the experience of some countries after adjusting the zero-COVID strategy, a priority for the transitional period is to "vaccinate the vulnerable segments of the population," Flahault said.
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