SCIO briefing on prevention and control of the new coronavirus-related pneumonia

A press conference was held Wednesday morning to explain the work being carried out to prevent and control the new coronavirus-related pneumonia. January 23, 2020

Beijing Youth Daily:

The pneumonia resulting from the novel coronavirus has been classified as a category B infectious disease, but the preventive and control measures used to deal with the virus are classified as category A. What does this mean? What level of public health emergency measures will be used in response to this epidemic? Thank you.

Li Bin:

I'll give the floor now to Mr. Xu, and he'll give a detailed explanation on the overall management of the virus and our emergency response.

Xu Shuqiang:

As Mr. Li introduced, we are now at a crucial stage in the prevention and control of the spread of the virus. The State Council has included pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus in the category of notifiable infectious diseases and has classified it as a category B infectious disease. However, we have implemented preventive and control measures that are classified as category A. This means that all regions, departments and all kinds of medical and health institutions at all levels can screen febrile patients, treat confirmed and suspected patients in quarantine, place patients' close contacts under isolated medical observation, and take other stricter preventive and control measures in accordance with the law to effectively prevent and control the spread of the epidemic.

As for the classification of the event, as you may know, in the early morning of Jan. 22, the Hubei provincial government issued a notice on strengthening the prevention and control of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, and decided to activate a level II public health emergency response. A level II response is meant for major public health emergencies, and the work to deal with the epidemic will be under the provincial government's unified leadership and command. In a Level II emergency response system, we can deploy the following measures: mobilize emergency personnel, materials, public transport, facilities and equipment; quarantine the scene of the contagion; locate and seal off the area affected by the epidemic; guarantee the supply of resources, materials and funds needed for the emergency response. Other measures also include helping place patients and their close contacts in quarantine, providing treatment to patients and organizing evacuation. We will make a concerted effort to disseminate relevant information and carry out our publicity work in a timely way, and when necessary, we can also ask the State Council for support to ensure the smooth handling of this public health emergency. Thank you.

Xi Yanchun:

Media outlets have clearly placed a great deal of importance on today's press conference. I would like to add a few words before it concludes. I want to stress that the CPC Central Committee and the State Council are highly aware of the need for prevention and control of the new coronavirus-related pneumonia, and as always, giving top priority to protecting people's lives and health. We believe that by following the strong leadership of the Party's Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, through the joint efforts of all localities, departments, and medical staff, as well as the concerted efforts of all the Chinese people, including Wuhan residents, we can certainly bring the epidemic under control.

I also want to say that we will adhere to the principles of openness and transparency. We will also release the latest updates on the epidemic situation and our progress on its prevention and control in a timely manner as well as respond to any public concerns as soon as possible. There are still many issues that everyone is concerned about. You are welcome to send your interview requests and the questions you would like to be answered to us or to the Information Office of the National Health Commission. We are willing to provide you with information in a timely manner.

Today's press conference is the last press conference by the State Council Information Office before the Spring Festival. I would also like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to the large number of medical staff who are working on the front line. I would like to say to all the Chinese people, including the people of Wuhan, that we will always stand together. I wish you all a happy Chinese New Year, good health and happiness.

Thanks again for your attendance today. The press conference is hereby concluded. 

Translated and edited by Zhang Liying, Zhang Lulu, Gong Yingchun, Li Xiao, Lin Liyao, Wu Jin, Cui Can, Zhang Rui, Zhu Bochen, Zhou Jing, Li Huiru, Guo Xiaohong, He Shan, Zhang Junmian, Jay Birbeck, David Ball, Kenneth Teh Chiu Soong. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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