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Govt policy moves from the past week

Updated: Feb 18,2020 11:24 AM    China Daily

Vehicles carrying farm produce given priority

China will continue to strengthen the supply of farm produce to cope with shortages caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the State Council said in a notice issued on Feb 13.

It said local governments should be responsible for the supply of vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, aquatic products and other produce in areas under their administration.

They were also urged to pay attention to the production, sale, transportation and quality control of farm produce, it said.

The notice said local authorities should publish details of channels for receiving complaints, such as hotline numbers, and resolve problems concerning the supply of farm produce in a timely manner. Formalism and bureaucratism should be strictly avoided, it said.

To guarantee farm production, the notice said efforts should be made to coordinate large farming entities like cooperatives and large private businesses to solve labor shortages.

Hog production should be restored as soon as possible, it said, asking for full-on efforts to prevent major infectious diseases such as African swine fever and bird flu.

The country will ensure the smooth transport of farm produce through "green channels" set up for epidemic control and prevention supplies, with vehicles given priority and exempted from highway charges.

The notice said distribution companies and e-commerce platforms should fully play their roles in promoting the distribution and sale of farm produce.

It also called for stricter management on live poultry markets, including timely disinfection and cooperation with supervision, while strengthening supplies of other types of meat.

Production of animal feed, veterinary drugs, and other livestock products should be restored as soon as possible, the notice said.

Companies that make products related to key epidemic prevention materials should be offered credit support in a timely manner, it said.

Support for medical workers on front line

China will take measures to improve the working conditions of medical workers on the front line of the battle against novel coronavirus pneumonia and care for their physical and mental health, a document issued by the General Office of the State Council said on Feb 11.

As epidemic prevention work enters a critical period, medical workers are facing difficulties including heavy workloads, high infection risks, a lack of rest and great psychological pressure.

The measures, jointly taken by the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance, are necessary to support front-line medical personnel during epidemic prevention and control work, the document said.

To improve working and rest conditions, it required efforts to renovate facilities in medical care and health institutions to meet the demands of receiving and treating patients.

Local governments above the county level will be allowed to requisition hotels near hospitals as rest places for medical workers and should guarantee their supplies of daily necessities, it said. To ensure that medical staff members are physically strong in battling the virus, time should be reasonably split between their work and rest. Shift schedules must consider their physical limitations in a scientific way.

It also stressed minimizing in-hospital infections through the use of essential protective supplies and materials.

The document also called for the enhancement of psychological crisis intervention and counseling for medical workers to relieve their mental stress.

Financial support will be offered to medical workers in the form of temporary work subsidies and merit pay for overtime, especially to outstanding performers, it said.