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China to step up efforts to prevent imported COVID-19 cases

Updated: Dec 11,2021 14:56

Port cities should strengthen prevention and control to guard against infection clusters caused by imported cases, according to a circular issued on Dec 11 by the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19.

The recent inbound COVID-19 cases and domestic resurgence have exposed weak links in local epidemic monitoring, management of personnel at high-risk jobs, such as cross-border truck drivers and cold-chain workers, and nucleic acid test, the circular said.

The circular called for better epidemic prevention and control mechanism in port cities. Drawing experience from Shanghai airport management committee, all port cities should establish a particular work group headed by one person, joined by healthcare, disease control, customs, immigration, border check, aviation, transportation authorities, and specify responsibilities in every link of epidemic control, according to the circular.

A better epidemic monitoring and alert system should also be in place. Port cities must keep a close watch on epidemic situation in related countries and regions, the circular said. For individuals and goods from epidemic-stricken countries and regions, more nucleic acid tests should be conducted in a timely manner, inbound transportation limited and flights canceled if necessary.

Border management and control measures should be guaranteed. Land border ports must urge cross-border transportation businesses to separate people and goods, transfer goods by different vehicles and drivers at the port and make sure the transfer is carried out with a non-contact approach, the circular said.

Illegal exits and entries will be further cracked down to guard against imported cases, it said.

Prevention and control measures will be stepped up for high-risk jobs. Port cities should check and define those who directly contact inbound personnel, goods and environment, standardize prevention and control measures for them, implement close-loop management, and increase nucleic acid tests, the circular said.

The circular urged restriction on population mobility, requiring proof of negative nucleic acid test results for people leaving and entering land port cities.

Port cities with large amount of cold-chain food imports should strengthen prevention and control through building central warehouses, offering unified disinfection and checks on foods, the circular said.

Provincial governments should coordinate resources and forces in supporting construction of disease control institutions, designated hospitals, fever clinics, primary-level healthcare institutions and quarantine points in port cities, the circular also said.

To guarantee people’s livelihoods, hotlines must be opened for the public, supply and price level of basic living goods should be checked regularly, according to the circular. Implementation and supervision are also stressed in the circular.