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Hubei eyes return to normalcy

Zhang Yi\Liu Kun
Updated: Mar 17,2020 09:01 AM    China Daily

Cities in Hubei province with a relatively low risk of novel coronavirus infection have resumed operations and social order recently while maintaining tough measures on epidemic prevention.

Ying Yong, Party secretary of Hubei, said on March 15 that precise measures should be adopted in medium-and low-risk areas to gradually restore socioeconomic order while maintaining the hard-won momentum of sustained improvement on the outbreak.

He urged authorities to help enterprises resume work and production, ensure the safe and orderly flow of personnel and make preparations for spring plowing and flood control.

The province issued policies on March 14 to accelerate economic and social development, including financial support, stable employment and investment promotion.

According to a notice issued by the provincial government on , local authorities are ordered to take region-specific approaches when advancing the resumption of work and production in light of local health risks.

Businesses that draw crowds, including theaters, game rooms, beauty salons, gyms and catering businesses, will remain closed, it said on March 11.

Companies are required to make epidemic prevention and control work plans as well as emergency response plans and gain approval from authorities before resumption, according to the notice.

To ensure the safety of workers returning to work in Hubei from across the country, governments and enterprises have been arranging buses and flights to take them back.

Four chartered buses carried 65 workers from Hunan province to their workplaces in Yichang on March 15. The workers were given body temperature checks before the journey, the local government said.

In Xianning, Hubei, construction began on the Chibi section of the Yangtze River Highway Bridge on Sunday as more than 370 construction workers returned to their posts, according to the bridge bureau of the China Railway Group.

The workers took chartered buses and flights back, and CT tests were arranged for them to take at hospitals once they arrived, said Xu Jiaowu, the project manager.

Xu said that materials including masks, disinfectants and electronic thermometers have been prepared in advance.

Efforts will be made to recover the time lost during the epidemic and ensure the completion of the project in a safe and timely manner, he added.

As buses, taxis and other modes of public transportation resume in cities such as Yichang, Shiyan and Jingzhou, prevention and control measures have also remained in place, said Zhu Hanqiao, director of the Department of Transportation of Hubei.

Everyone has a QR code, which is required for people who want to take a bus. Each bus has a security guard, who is in charge of checking the QR codes and body temperatures of passengers, according to Zhu.
The bus capacity should not exceed 50 percent, with passengers sitting apart, he added.