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Hubei calls for stricter prevention measures

Yang Zekun
Updated: Feb 19,2020 09:27 AM    China Daily

Stricter prevention and control measures should be taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic, and hospitalizing every infected person is still the priority, a Hubei provincial official said on Feb 18.

The community is the first line of defense for the prevention and control of the epidemic, Qian Yuankun, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China's Hubei provincial committee, said at a news conference.

Qian called on the public to take further action and keep the community under closed management.

"We have to endure the short-term pain to prevent the internal spread of the virus in communities and contain the epidemic," he said.

To ensure that everyone infected by the virus is found and treated, Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, started comprehensively checking and verifying patients with fever one by one on Feb 18, according to an announcement made by the provincial novel coronavirus prevention and control headquarters.

According to the announcement, the headquarters is requiring that all people who have had a fever and visited medical institutions, and those who have purchased medicine for reducing fever and relieving coughs from online or physical stores since Jan 20 must be screened.

Investigators must learn the times each person received treatment or purchased the medicine, as well as their name, ID number, current residential address and phone number, and then organize on-site verification, follow-up testing, isolation and treatment.

Further, all designated hospitals and fever clinics in the province are required to register the patient's information. Customers who purchase fever-reducing and cough-relieving drugs from physical and online pharmacies must use their real name and accept verification, according to the announcement.

On Feb 17, the legislature of Wuhan, capital of Hubei, issued a guideline for governments and individuals to perform their duties and follow the provisions of epidemic prevention and control.

Resident committees in communities and villages were urged to strictly implement the prevention and control measures, conduct closed management measures, accurately collect, register and verify the information of those entering or leaving the community and submit the information in a timely manner.

The governments were asked, among other requirements, to issue alerts and reports and conduct early detection, isolation and treatment efforts related to the epidemic; to achieve the goals of diagnosing and treating all confirmed patients; and to give nucleic acid tests to all suspected patients.

People were asked to wear masks, keep an appropriate distance from others in public places and cooperate with temperature monitoring, isolation observations and treatments. Those who have symptoms of cough and fever should report to local residents' committees. People who do not comply may be punished.