HANGZHOU, April 1 (Xinhua) -- China will make preventing imported cases the top priority in the country's COVID-19 response at present and even for a "prolonged" period of time, President Xi Jinping said Wednesday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during his inspection in east China's Zhejiang Province.

"The epidemic situation in China is moving steadily in a positive direction, and the peak of the current COVID-19 outbreak is over in the country," Xi said.

However, the risk posed by imported cases has sharply risen as the epidemic is accelerating its spread across the world, he said.

Xi also called for strengthening the work on asymptomatic coronavirus cases in China.