SCIO briefing on the provision of key medical supplies and daily necessities for epidemic prevention and control

A press conference was held on Monday morning to give details on the provision of key medical supplies and daily necessities for the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak. February 4, 2020

Xi Yanchun:

This will be the last question. 

Ta Kung Pao:

Recently there have been several cases of the 2019-nCoV due to gatherings. China is now going to see another spike in traffic as we approach the end of the Spring Festival period and travelers are returning to their places of work. My question is what countermeasures are there to deal with this situation? Thank you. 

Liu Xiaoming:

Thanks for your question. We are now experiencing another Spring Festival travel rush where travelers are returning to their places of work. As such, the CPC Central Committee leading group, which was exclusively set up to deal with the epidemic, has issued the notice regarding the mass return trip after the Spring Festival holiday to strengthen the prevention and control of the epidemic. The Ministry of Transport has earnestly implemented the important instructions by General Secretary Xi Jinping and has made resolute efforts to curb the spread of the virus through transportation and cross infection. As everyone is concerned with the risk of the epidemic spreading during the spike in traffic brought about by people returning to work, we have worked with the relevant ministries and departments and decided to take the following measures:

The first measure is to mobilize all industries and sectors in China and carry out epidemic prevention work in accordance with first-level public health emergency response standards.

The second measure is to strengthen the ventilation and sterilization of public vehicles as well as the checking of body temperatures of travelers. Health departments have also issued a technical manual for the sterilizing of public vehicles and urged local authorities to ensure that transportation hubs and stations are equipped with thermometers. According to the manual, tests to measure the body temperature of drivers, conductors and passengers should be carried out with no exception. It also stipulates that there should be observation rooms and quarantine areas in service areas, ships, stations and wharves if conditions permit; and when any persons are found to have an abnormal body temperature, they should be observed, isolated and handed over in accordance with procedure and with no delay.

The third measure is to cooperate with other departments concerning epidemic prevention, control and quarantine. It is mainly to cooperate with health departments to do a good job in setting up and inspecting health and quarantine stations at public transport hubs and stations. 

The fourth measure is to guide local departments in the control of vehicles driving in and out of Wuhan, Hubei province. In particular, to guide them to carry out necessary inspections on vehicles moving in and out of Wuhan and to ensure the implementation of the one "cut off" and three "not cut off" principle. The one "cut off" principle refers to the need to cut off any channel through which the virus may spread. The three "not cut off" principle refers to the need to ensure that the highway transport network should not be cut off, that emergency supplies and transport routes for the prevention and control of the epidemic should not be cut off, and that the transport routes needed for the conveying of goods and materials necessary for people's daily lives and production should not be cut off. 

The fifth measure is to do a good job in tracing the persons who had close contact with the confirmed or suspected cases traveling on public vehicles. Where confirmed or suspected cases are found on passenger airlines, railway trains, or long-distance passenger transport vehicles, the origins of the infections should be investigated. At the same time, we will guide local transport departments to strengthen communication and cooperation with other departments such as human resources and social security, agriculture and rural affairs, education and so on, to implement the responsibilities of sources of migrant workers, destinations of migrant workers and schools, and to fulfill the responsibilities of governments at all levels, employers and transport enterprises. By taking all these measures, we aim to minimize the risk of the virus spreading during the traffic spike when a vast number of travelers return to their places of work and ensure success in our battle against this epidemic. 

In terms of other relevant work, we welcome supervision from the media. We hope that the media can supervise and urge local governments and enterprises to fulfill their responsibilities and travelers to protect themselves. With joint efforts, we will win this battle. Thank you. 

Xi Yanchun:

We have just had a special Spring Festival holiday without rest. I believe that our friends from media also experienced a tough holiday. I would like to take this opportunity to express my concern for all our journalist friends, especially journalists reporting from the front lines. I hope that everyone will take good of your health and protect yourselves. 

Thanks again to our speakers, and thank you all, too. The press conference is hereby concluded. 

Translated and edited by Zhang Jiaqi, Gong Yingchun, Zhu Bochen, Lin Liyao, Li Xiao, Yan Xiaoqing, Wu Jin, Zhang Rui, Liu Qiang, Mi Xingang, Cui Can, Wang Yanfang, Chen Yinjun, Li Huiru, Guo Xiaohong, Wang Qian, Zhang Junmian, Yuan Fang, Zhou Jing, He Shan, Wang Wei, Huang Shan, 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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