SCIO briefing on the joint response to the new coronavirus-related pneumonia outbreak

A press conference was held Sunday afternoon to explain the work being carried out to jointly prevent and control the new coronavirus-related pneumonia outbreak. January 27, 2020

Xi Yanchun:

This will be the last question due to time constraints.

TV Tokyo:

I have a question about page No. 4 [which relates to the] strict management of Wuhan people who went outside. How does the government do this? Can you please give us more details. Thank you.

Ma Xiaowei:

I would like to invite vice minister Li Bin to answer this question.

Li Bin:

About this question, Mr. Ma has actually covered it just now. About the management over the people travelling from Wuhan, we will trace and register every one of them; place them under close observation; deal with them according to standards as well as check whether they have some abnormal medical care records. The key is to make sure that these measures can be implemented at communities in urban areas as well as in rural areas, as such areas are the first defense line, and it has been proven an effective way of managing such disease. The government has attached great importance to the management of communities, especially concerning travelers from Wuhan. We've made plans and serious measures will be taken as followed: 

First, tracing every traveler from Wuhan so as to identify the patients as soon as possible, and make early diagnosis, isolation and treatment. The government requires county-level medical institutions to strengthen pre-examination and triage, and set up fever and respiratory diseases departments so as to make it easier for potential patients to receive treatment.

Second, we have to ensure the effectiveness of the management of close contacts. After a case is confirmed, the most effective way of containing the spread of infections to effectively manage the close contacts. We need to let local officials and the health workers at both town and village-level communities to play their role so that they can work as a team to effectively handle those confirmed and suspected cases as well as the close contacts.

Third, we will strengthen management of travelers from outside the community. We will enhance health monitoring in communities, tracking residents' travel history, and take targeted measures to prevent and control infections. That is to say, we will stay ahead of the situation, mainly focusing on those travelling from Wuhan and ask them to stay at home for a 14-day medical observation. During this period, the health workers at the community-level will monitor these people's situation every day and take relevant measures as required.  

Fourth, we will launch health awareness campaigns. We will provide alerts for those travelers from Wuhan, asking them to take necessary measures by themselves, including medical observation at home, contacting community-level medical and health institutions in urban areas or town and village-level medical organizations so as to help implement these prevention and control measures. We will release health notices and medical guides through various channels to raise public health awareness, assisting people to do more to protect themselves so that they can work together with the government to implement the prevention and control measures and manage the situation effectively. 

Through these measures, we will fully mobilize the community-level authorities and health workers, carry out grid-based model management, exercise blanket tracking so that each household and individual can be monitored. Communities, sub-districts, households and individuals will work together to create synergies, and all the officials and health workers will fulfill their responsibilities so as to ensure that the prevention and control measures can be implemented sufficiently and contain the spread of the infections. Thank you. 

Xi Yanchun:

I know that friends from the media have a lot of concerns, many of which may require our response through concrete actions and specific measures. We will go all out to live up to the expectations of our people and in releasing more information. Starting tomorrow, the National Health Commission will hold a press conference every morning, as will Hubei province and some places with more severe epidemic situation.

Today, we also invite Mr. Gao Fu, director-general of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, to take your questions afterwards. I'd like to take the opportunity to express my thanks to the Chinese and foreign media for their hard work in reporting the epidemic situation. Thanks again to our speakers. Thank you for your attendance today. The press conference is hereby concluded.

Translated and edited by Zhang Liying, Zhang Lulu, Zhang Jiaqi, Chen Yinjun, Zhu Bochen, Mi Xingang, Wu Jin, Duan Yaying, Liu Qiang, Wang Yiming, Zhang Rui, Gao Zhan, Gong Yingchun, Guo Xiaohong, Wang Qian, Li Huiru, He Shan, Wang Yanfang, Zhang Junmian, Huang Shan, Kenneth Teh Chiu Soong, Geoffrey Murray. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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