As we all know, the SARS epidemic of 2003 turned into a public health crisis that affected many countries around the world. What measures will China take this time to prevent any further spread of the epidemic? Thank you.
The National Health Commission received notification of a clustering of cases of viral pneumonia caused by an unknown pathogen in Wuhan city, Hubei province, on Dec. 30, 2019. We dispatched a national task force and group of experts as soon as possible to work with the local government in a bid to guide and support the prevention and control of the epidemic in Wuhan.
First, we spared no effort in treating the patients. Second, we carried out in-depth investigations into the epidemic. Based on the information available, the government of Wuhan decided to shut down the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, from where most of the cases appeared to be connected. Then, we stepped up efforts to detect cases, quarantine and treat them, as well as carry out the tracking of close contacts and implement medical observation throughout the city. Third, experts formulated relevant prevention and control plans, carried out epidemiological investigations, collected specimens for testing, and investigated the root causes of the outbreak. Fourth, we made all our findings public on Dec. 31.
After we initially identified the novel coronavirus as the pathogen behind the outbreak on Jan. 8, we started to research and develop detection kits, optimize testing schemes, and strengthen case searching, testing and review work. At the same time, the relevant prevention and control plans, treatment methods and other prevention and control measures will be amended to adapt to the situation in order to reduce the likelihood of severe and fatal cases.
Given the existing measures, we will take even stricter measures to prevent further spread of the epidemic, including enhancing quarantine and treatment of the disease, strengthening the tracking of close contacts and medical observation, improving the environment and management of market places in Wuhan, launching health awareness campaigns, detailing all information on the outbreak to the public, popularizing knowledge of prevention and control of the disease, and adding temperature screening at airports and public transport stations.
Next, under the principle of fully implementing the decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee, following the requirements and plans of the State Council, based on Class B infectious disease and Class A infectious disease management of the Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases as well as regulations of the infectious disease management stipulated by the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of the People's Republic of China, governments at all levels, the health ministry and other relevant departments will continue to take Wuhan city as its priority in enhancing implementation of prevention and control measures. At the same time, prevention and control of the disease will be further improved nationwide, especially during the Spring Festival travel rush. Moreover, we will improve surveillance, ensure more rapid reporting, carry out effective responses and unveil new information in a timely manner. We will also step up efforts to conduct scientific research and promote international cooperation. The Chinese government and the Chinese people are confident of defeating this new epidemic and winning the battle. Thank you.