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China to curb spread of new coronavirus-related pneumonia

Zhang Yue
Updated: January 20, 2020 22:27

China will take further steps to control the new coronavirus-related pneumonia, and the disease will be put under management as an infectious disease in accordance with law, as was decided at the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Jan 20.

The meeting called for intensified inter-agency efforts to prevent the disease from further spreading.

It was underlined at the meeting that disease control is a matter of life and health for the people. The competent departments and local governments have taken a host of measures to tackle the pneumonia, including promptly activating fever clinics and undertaking all-coverage screening. Diagnostic methods and reagents for the new pneumonia are improving.

It was decided at the meeting on Jan 20 that corresponding prevention and control measures will be launched to tackle the pneumonia as a public health emergency. The measures of prevention and control will be particularly enhanced in the city of Wuhan, where the markets concerned will be shut down, wildlife control tightened, and fever screening required at airports, bus and train stations, and ports.

Local governments must, in light of their local conditions, carry out ventilation, sterilization and temperature taking as needed in key venues and public transportation facilities. At the same time, the monitoring, pre-examination and triage of the disease must be stepped up to ensure that infections will be promptly detected and effectively handled.

It was decided at the meeting that high-caliber personnel and medical resources will be pooled in tackling the disease. Sufficient funding will be made available to provide patients, particularly those suffering severe conditions, with the best possible care. The meeting urged tight control of infection at hospitals and precautionary measures for medical workers.

"All prevention and control measures needed must be duly delivered, and inter-agency efforts enhanced to ensure earliest possible detection, reporting, quarantine and treatment of the disease, and to keep the fatality rate at the minimal possible level. Precautions in hospitals should be strengthened," Premier Li said.

"The government should make timely updates about the disease and be highly responsive to public concerns to shape an objective and rational public attitude toward the disease. We also need to keep the public better informed about how to protect themselves from winter infectious diseases.” He added.

The meeting required openness and transparency to keep the public informed of the situation and work in prevention and control in a timely and objective manner. The meeting also called for closer communication and cooperation with the World Health Organization, the countries concerned, and the regions of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

"We must communicate and share information with international organizations and overseas. Research on the disease must be intensified to work out effective prevention and treatment. This way, our efforts may be more effective," Premier Li said.