Warning about the potential of "twindemic" this winter, Chinese health authorities have stressed the need for influenza prevention as flu activity in the southern provinces in the country has increased since September.
In a notification issued on Friday, the Chinese health commission has asked local officials for strengthening influenza prevention and control measures during the flu season which is coupled with the risk of imported COVID-19 cases, Global Times reported.
This comes after Chinese authorities have warned about the risk of imported COVID-19 infections due to the high incidence of respiratory infections in the winter season.
A total of 19 imported COVID-19 cases and one locally transmitted infection were reported on Saturday, Xinhua reported. China's National Health Commission on Sunday said that the newly-added local case was reported in Xilin Gol League, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Chinese health authorities stated that influenza activity in the southern and northern parts of the country since March has been higher than the same period last year.
This comes in the backdrop of the risk of imported cases in China. The Global Times reported that the COVID-19 and respiratory infectious diseases such as influenza can be combined and bring a potential "twindemic" during this upcoming winter and the next spring.
Ahead of the winter season, the Chinese authorities have called for strengthening monitoring and early warning mechanisms, immunizing key groups, promoting multi-disease prevention, standardizing epidemic treatment and extensive publicity and mobilization.
The publication stated that last flu season clusters of flu cases occurred in schools, childcare institutions and other venues despite the overall prevalence of influenza staying relatively low.
Moreover, the health authority urged the key institutions to strengthen efforts to detect, report and deal with cluster cases as early as possible.
Furthermore, the Chinese authorities stressed the need to improve the convenience of influenza vaccination services and enhance procurement and deployment management of vaccines and information management of vaccination data.
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