The recommendation came in the form of a Nov. 2 article published in the state-owned daily tabloid Global Times. It quoted epidemiologists who claimed that the surge of COVID-19 cases – alongside those of pneumonia, influenza and bacterial infections – was not too far out of line with projects in China's fall and winter sick seasons.
Epidemiology and respiratory medicine professor Liu Youning of the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing was among the experts who spoke to the Global Times. He told the tabloid that only eight percent of current COVID-19 patients show pneumonia symptoms.
But according to the Global Times, mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is the one to watch out for. This bacterial infection, while usually mild, can weaken patients' immune systems and increase their risk of contracting severe influenza. Chinese school-age children are especially prone to contracting MPP, according to the tabloid.
The threat of MPP prompted health officials in China to issue early public advisories to "take precautions in a timely manner" – including face mask recommendations. The mask-wearing "advisories" urged the Chinese to wear face coverings in areas where children and the elderly congregate, such as schools and medical facilities. "Experts and local health authorities have issued reminders for people to wear masks, but also assured the public there was no need to panic," the Global Times stated.
"The Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control has reminded that schools are prone to clustered infections. Therefore, they should reduce group activities this winter – given the superimposed prevalence of influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases."
Interestingly, the Chinese government previously mandated face coverings under the "zero-COVID" policy espoused by Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping. The policy involved extreme medical tyranny to the point that entire apartment complexes were isolated over just one positive COVID-19 case.
However, Beijing quickly rescinded the policy after it brought China's economy to the brink of collapse. Medical martial law brought the economy to a grinding halt. Nathan Su of the Epoch Times expounded on how the country reversed its policy in a Dec. 31, 2022 article.
According to Su, Beijing's "zero non-COVID" policy "has aggressively pushed the whole country toward an all-COVID-positive state." He noted that Xi "is clearly willing to pay any price to reopen the country" after it teetered toward economic collapse following the absurdity of the "zero-COVID" policy. (Related: China replaces "zero covid" policy with "zero non-covid" in confusing attempt to save economy.)
The Epoch Times writer cited two instances of Beijing doing a complete 180 on the policy. In one example, government employees of Chongqing City and the eastern province of Zhejiang received return-to-work orders. They were permitted to go back to the office even if they were COVID-positive, as long as their symptoms were mild.
A local official in Shanghai who went by the pseudonym Song Wen shared a similar instance. On Dec. 27, 2022, his office received instructions to do whatever it could to push the city into the COVID-19 peak status. "Let those who are supposed to become positive become positive – and let those who are supposed to die, die," Song recalled the edict.
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