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COVID controls to continue, weak links in healthcare to be improved

China will continue COVID-19 control measures this year, with a focus on rolling out targeted, scientific measures that ensure the continuation of normal life and production, according to a government report released on Saturday.

To prevent imported infections and domestic flare-ups, virus containment measures will be refined by stepping up the capability of port cities, intensifying the studies of and protection against virus mutations and accelerating research into vaccines and medicines, as well as continuing the mass vaccination campaign.

Last year, China consolidated its COVID-19 response and fully vaccinated over 85 percent of its population, according to the annual Government Work Report delivered at the opening of the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress.

"Local outbreaks were suppressed in an effective and quick manner. By making these efforts, we ensured the health and safety of the people and maintained the normal order of work and life," it said.

This year, China will improve its prevention and control network and ramp up capability to monitor epidemics, conducting early warnings, epidemiological investigations and implementing emergency responses.

In other areas of health care, China plans to increase government subsidies for basic medical insurance, conduct more bulk government purchasing of drugs and high-value medical consumables, shore up weak links in services like maternal and child health care, pediatrics, mental health and medical care for the elderly, as well as deepening the reform of public hospitals, according to the report.

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