BEIJING: A thousand days because the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a “viral pneumonia” in central China, many countries possess returned to pre-COVID-19 life. Not so China itself – in cities big or small, routine polymerase string reaction (PCR) examining could be the new normal.
On December 31, 2019, the WHO’s office within China was advised of cases associated with pneumonia of an unfamiliar cause in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province. Since then, the virus that is now called SARS-CoV-2 has progressed into the less virulent Omicron variant, and most of the world has moved on.
Right after Shanghai was locked down in Apr and May to contain the highly transmissible Omicron strain, regular examining for the virus has become a fact of everyday life to ensure fast detection and quarantine from the infected and near contacts. It’s a policy that has been controversial in addition to a drain on general public finances.