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Epidemic information disclosure must be open, transparent

Updated: Mar 24,2020 05:28 PM

Local authorities should disclose information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in an open and transparent way and respond with precise control, Premier Li Keqiang said at a meeting of the leading group on novel coronavirus prevention and control on March 23.

Premier Li is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the leading group.

Local government should adopt a truthful attitude and a targeted approach to promptly put any discovered COVID-19 cases and possibly affected areas under control, and release information in an open and transparent way, without omission or concealment, the Premier said.

Spread of domestically transmitted epidemic in the country, with Wuhan as the main battlefield, has basically been stopped, he said, adding that there are still sporadic cases and risks of local outbreaks.

That, coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 spread worldwide, shows the situation remains complex and severe, and thus requires awareness to brace for a more arduous virus fight that may take longer, Premier Li said.

Addressing such challenges requires timely identification, reporting, quarantine and treatment measures to stop any case from spreading locally and beyond, he said.

Most regions of China have not seen new COVID-19 cases for days, which is what the public has been expecting, but once a case is identified, the information must be reported in a timely and accurate manner without withholding truth, the Premier stressed.

The principle of truthfulness, openness and transparency must be built into efforts to prevent and control infectious disease, because this can prompt people’s vigilance and awareness against it, which helps ensure that current prevention and control actions pay off and prevent a fresh outbreak, he added.