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


The standing committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee made many important arrangements for the prevention and control of the epidemic yesterday. What specific measures would be taken to implement the arrangements? Thank you.

Ma Xiaowei:

The worth of any plan lies in its implementation. Effectively implementing all arrangements of the central government is the key to controlling the spread of the epidemic and winning the battle against it.

First, we will give full play to our institutional strengths. The CPC Central Committee has decided to set up a leading group to deal with the epidemic, which will carry out its work under the leadership of the standing committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. At the same time, we are sending working groups to guide areas with severe outbreaks in Hubei. We also have a joint prevention and control mechanism comprising many government departments. Such a leadership system is conducive to coordinating and mobilizing national and military resources and medical materials, and ensure the need for epidemic prevention and control through close and dedicated cooperation.

Second, we will further implement the system of territorial responsibility, and highlight those of local Party committees and governments at all levels in particular. It is not only the requirement of the central government, but also in accordance with the provision of the law on the prevention and control of infectious diseases as well as the demand of the current situation. As far as we know, many provinces have established a leadership system, with Party committee and local government leaders taking major responsibility, and a joint prevention and control mechanism involving multiple government departments.

Third, we will increase guidance in regard to local actions. The National Health Commission has conducted the first round of supervision on the prevention and control in all provinces. Relevant government departments under the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council will continue to conduct supervision as appropriate. At the same time, we will send out working groups to each province to guide local efforts in prevention and control. The medical staff have been working hard since the outbreak of the epidemic, and residents in Wuhan and other areas under traffic control have actively cooperated with the prevention and control measures, contributing their share to epidemic control. We believe that with the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core and the strong support of the Chinese people, we will surely win the fight against the epidemic.

Liu Xiaoming:

I will supplement this question. Since the convening of the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the Ministry of Transport has paid great attention to the prevention and control of the new coronavirus-related pneumonia. The important instructions given by General Secretary Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have been conscientiously studied on the same night and their implementation and deployment made in a timely way. Resolving the epidemic currently is in itself the most important order and the prevention and control work the greatest responsibility. From January 22 to 25, Party secretary Yang Chuantang and Minister Li Xiaopeng of the Ministry of Transport have convened six consecutive working meetings concerning the prevention and control mechanism, and strengthened dispatch with local transport departments through video, in particular with the transport department of Wuhan, Hubei province. Our work priorities are in the following areas:

We have carried out the timely deployment of prevention and control work. On January 21, the Ministry of Transport activated a level II emergency response to prevent and control the pneumonia outbreak caused by the new coronavirus, established the joint prevention and control mechanism for the ministry, and made work deployments overnight. We have carried out ventilation, sterilization and temperature-taking measures in vehicles including buses and ships and in transport hubs such as stations, ports and highway service areas. At present, we are in a critical period where we need to prevent and control the epidemic and also ensure smooth transportation during the Spring Festival travel rush. We hope that the vast numbers of travelers can improve the ways they protect themselves, be cognizant when planning their trips and voluntarily cooperate with inspection and isolation work. I have confidence that with the concerted efforts of all we will certainly win this tough battle. 

Wang Jiangping:

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the Party Leadership Group of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has placed great importance on prevention and control work. Our task is to take the lead in guaranteeing the supply of goods and materials needed for the emergency response. Against an obvious imbalance between the supply and demand of prevention and control goods and materials due to the Spring Festival period, we have taken the following measures to strengthen our security work.

First, the national industry and information technology system has taken the lead and various organizations and manufacturing enterprises have overcome all kinds of difficulties to resume work and production.

Second, the system of deploying key prevention and control goods and materials among manufacturing enterprises has been established.  

Third, efforts have been made to promote the establishment at the national level of a temporary reserve system of prevention and control goods and materials to guarantee the purchase and reserve of such goods and materials. 

Fourth, efforts have been made to provide guidance to e-commerce platforms to control the price and flow and to ensure the reasonable delivery of prevention and control goods and materials, as well as to establish an e-commerce supply and demand mechanism. 

Fifth, we have made every effort to meet the need for prevention and control goods and materials in Wuhan. Since January 23, we have received the list of demands for four batches of goods and materials. In general, the list contains four categories of goods and materials in more than twenty varieties. While the supply of the majority of goods and materials can be fulfilled, goods such as protection suits and masks are still in high demand. As is known to all, China is a huge producer. But as we are now experiencing the Spring Festival holidays, our productivity isn't at its optimum level. We have made efforts in these days to bring about the resumption of work and production of 40% of our total production capacity. However, such capacity is still not able to meet the demand for products such as protection suits. According to Hubei province's list of demands, 100 thousand medical protection suits are needed every day, this works out to be three million a month. However, there are only forty enterprises whose production capacity permits meet Chinese standards. They are currently distributed in fourteen provinces across the country and can produce a total of 30 thousand protection suits every day. As such, there is clearly a large imbalance between supply and demand. 

In addition, a part of what we produce is for export, which comes up to about fifty thousand protection suits every day. However, without the permit that meets Chinese standards, it would take some time to convert and allow them to be sold in the domestic market. 

As for our next step, we will do everything possible to ensure that we meet the needs of the places facing the epidemic. Upon learning what hospitals in Wuhan lack in goods and materials, our colleagues in our material security group have been having sleepless nights. So as a next step, we will take more measures to ensure that Wuhan's needs are always satisfied. First, we will draw on the central reserve to ensure the needs of the areas facing the epidemic are met. Second, we will do everything possible to resume work and production and rapidly improve our production capacity from the current 40%. Third, we will promote the connection between export standards and Chinese standards so that exports that are up to the EU standard or U.S. standard can be used in some areas in China. In the end, we will strengthen international cooperation. In fact, we have strengthened international procurement to make up for our present domestic deficiency. That's all I wanted to add. 

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