(People's Daily Online/Cartoon by Ma Hongliang)

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Since placing the management of COVID-19 in Class A infection in 2020, China has withstood five waves of the epidemic and has helped its people avoid being infected by stronger variants of the virus. It has also bought time for China to prepare its medical resources.

Currently, with the mutation of the virus, the change of the epidemic situation, the popularization of vaccination and the accumulation of experience in prevention and control, China's epidemic prevention and control has entered a new stage.

China has announced that it will be downgrading its management of COVID-19 as of Jan. 8, treating it as a Class B infection, rather than a more serious Class A infection.

Following the latest adjustment, China's epidemic prevention and control efforts will focus on protecting health and preventing severe cases.

The downgrade represents a proactive and realistic move to adjust to the latest virus circumstances. It will help concentrate resources to protect vulnerable groups and help people's lives return to normal while ensuring their other medical needs are met. It will also minimize the epidemic's impact on society and the economy. 

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