Speaking at a meeting of China’s top leaders on March 17, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would stick to its “zero COVID-19” policy.

Voice of America news cited state broadcaster CCTV as saying that Xi said China should “continue to put people and life at the forefront, stick with scientific accuracy and dynamic-zero, and curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible.”

According to the Chinese central government’s official website, the pandemic spread to 28 provinces in March. Up to now, there are more than 400 medium and high-risk areas.

To make virus control more “targeted,” Xi also called on the country to “strengthen technological key areas like vaccination, rapid testing and drug research.”

He also emphasized the importance of bolstering prevention at ports of entry as the number of imported infections rises.

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