Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning. Welcome to the press conference on the provision of key medical supplies and daily necessities for the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak. We have invited Mr. Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission; Mr. Tian Yulong, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology; Mr. Liu Xiaoming, vice minister of transport; Mr. Wang Bingnan, vice minister of commerce; Mr. Li Bin, vice minister of the National Health Commission; Ms. Gan Lin, vice minister of the State Administration for Market Regulation.
First, I'll give the floor to Mr. Lian.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning.
There has been wide-ranging attention on the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council places great importance on the prevention and control of the epidemic and the livelihood of the people living under its shadow. General Secretary Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee for an investigation into the situation on the first day of the Lunar New Year and gave major instructions on the work needed to deal with the outbreak. He called for firm confidence, unity in times of difficulty, scientific prevention and control, and precise measures. He also emphasized the need to guarantee market supply, ensure the supply of various materials in Hubei province and Wuhan city, safeguarding the normal basic life of the general public, and winning the battle of epidemic prevention and control. Premier Li Keqiang also chaired the meetings of the central leading group on responding to the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, and made systematic plans for inter-agency prevention and control as well as for the supply of various materials. On Feb. 1, he paid a visit to a platform for the provision of medical supplies.
After the outbreak of the epidemic, especially since the implementation of more stringent prevention and control measures by Wuhan on Jan. 23, logistics and supplies were affected. People placed a lot of attention on securing a constant supply of daily necessities, and there were also some concerns. There have also been temporary increases in the demand for some daily necessities and a notable rise in prices. In response to the situation, the central leading group set up an inter-agency task force for joint and quick coordination. They went all out in their efforts to increase the supply of daily necessities, set up green channels for the transportation of food, vegetables, medical materials and other necessities, and spared no efforts in guaranteeing the supply of daily necessities in priority regions including Wuhan. In the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance, various localities and relevant enterprises also provided selfless support in supplying daily necessities to the people in Hubei province and Wuhan city.
Through the concerted efforts of various sides, the aggregate supply of daily necessities in Wuhan city and Hubei province is secure, and after the temporary increases, prices are now coming down. The supply to other regions of the country is also adequate and secure. That being said, problems such as a lack of coordination have also emerged and require timely resolution. For example, the supply of different types of fresh vegetables is not varied enough, the stocks of certain daily necessities are not replenished in a timely manner due to slow logistics, and the transportation of certain materials are not optimal because of epidemic control requirements. Enterprises that produce and supply daily necessities also face labor shortage and problems in their industrial chain upon resumption of production. We are now coordinating our efforts to solve these problems.
Going forward, the related departments and local governments will fully implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and will introduce more effective measures to ensure the smooth supply of daily necessities.
First, further increasing supplies. For example, we will work with the vegetable-producing provinces, such as Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui and Guangxi, to better coordinate with Hubei province so as to increase the supply of fresh vegetables. We will also increase the supply of rice, flour and edible oil by coordinating with major companies, such as the China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation, the China Grain Reserves Corporation and the China National Salt Industry Corporation. We will also increase the supply of frozen food by coordinating with the major production companies. We will also make arrangements to deliver frozen pork from the central reserves into the market.
Second, resuming production in an orderly way while strictly implementing epidemic prevention and control measures. We will ensure that companies involved in epidemic prevention and control and those that impact the national economy and people's livelihood will resume production as soon as possible. This would include companies in the sectors of energy supply, transportation, logistics, city operations, medical materials production and those supplying daily necessities. We will also push for the resumption of major projects, major engineering construction and the operations of companies with the right conditions as quickly as possible.
Third, keeping logistics and transportation unimpeded. In order to ensure that aid materials can be sent to Hubei province successfully and to reduce the risk of cross-infection, transport authorities have set up road transport transit service stations in five existing logistics parks in Hubei province. This has been done so that cargo can be unloaded more efficiently and vehicles can return as soon as possible. We will also enhance the building of green transportation channels in Hubei province so as to improve the efficiency of transportation as well as the redistribution of materials. We will give priority to vehicles transporting medical materials and daily necessities and they will not be required to stop, undergo checks or pay tolls.
Fourth, guaranteeing the factors for production. We will help address the difficulties that companies may face during their resumption of production, such as challenges related to labor supply, energy supplies, as well as financing and industrial chains. We will help Hubei province deal with the problems of resources, transportation and dispatch so as to guarantee safe and stable supplies of coal, power, petroleum and natural gas.
Fifth, enhancing monitoring. We will check the supplies of daily necessities in various areas and will closely monitor the daily levels of consumption of vegetables and food in Hubei province as well as in other major regions to address any potential supply problems on a timely basis.
Sixth, improving our reserves. We will focus on our reserves of winter and spring vegetables and their delivery to major northern cities. We will also implement and improve the government's temporary reserves by following the principle of storing surplus supplies for future use and using our reserves only when necessary. This will enable us to ensure the supply of daily necessities to the greatest extent possible.
The provision of daily necessities is of crucial importance to people's daily life as well as prevention and control of the epidemic. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the inter-agency task force for the supply of daily necessities led by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce will work with the relevant departments and local governments to ensure the supply of daily necessities and win the battle against the epidemic. Thank you.
Thank you Mr. Lian. Next, I'll now give the floor to Mr. Tian Yulong.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning. The spread of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been severely affecting people's health and threatening their lives. Since the epidemic's outbreak, both the CPC Central Committee and the State Council have attached great importance to it. General Secretary Xi Jinping is personally commanding and deploying the prevention and containment efforts, stressing that these are currently the top priority.
In order to act as soon as possible in accordance with the deployment of prevention and containment, we have mobilized resources in every province and city, as well as all industries and sectors, to comprehensively secure emergency medical supplies, especially those urgently needed in Wuhan and Hubei. Under the leadership of the leading group of the CPC Central Committee on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the State Council medical supplies group has been established out of the joint prevention and control mechanism. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has taken the initiative in securing the production of key medical supplies, including medical protective clothing, goggles, eye protection, face masks, disinfection and sterilization supplies, negative pressure ambulances, as well as infrared thermometers. We have also been coordinating the urgently needed materials. All the group members are working in a coordinated manner and are taking their own responsibilities. The industry and information technology systems of every province and city have been connected to jointly step-up efforts in ensuring medical supplies focusing on Wuhan and Hubei.
As the Spring Festival took place during these more than 10 days of working on the emergency medical supplies, most of the medical material suppliers and logistics systems were on vacation. As such, it has been very difficult to resume production during this period. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, with help from relevant parties, has adopted four measures to effectively secure the supply of medical materials.
First, we have been organizing relevant companies to resume and further expand production as soon as possible. Since Jan. 21, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has sent seven successive public telegrams to every province and city, specifically deploying material supplies regarding the epidemic prevention and control. We are urging medical material suppliers to resume production as soon as possible, and are strengthening the integrated management and deployment of major medical supplies.
Second, we have sent commissioners relevant companies to strengthen the coordination and supervision of production. In order to implement the requirements of the State Council, task forces led by 30 senior government officials have been sent to major medical supplies companies to work with local systems concerning industry and information technology, as well as the administration of medical products. We have been helping these companies coordinate and resolve issues concerning raw materials and logistics, so as to effectively increase valid supplies.
Third, we have established a national dispatch platform for major medical supplies. In accordance with the CPC Central Committee's guidance on improving the coordination of medical supplies, the platform has been established to collect, analyze and monitor statistics on the production capacity, output, inventory and relevant logistics of medical supplies, thereby organizing dispatches accordingly. The effectiveness of the dispatch of the supplies has been improved through the use of information technology.
Fourth, we have been actively seeking international supplies of medical materials. In order to make up for the domestic shortage of urgently needed materials, we have been organizing international procurement under the support of relevant government bodies. Many companies got a large number of urgently needed medical supplies from other countries through procurement or donation. In the meantime, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has been working with the National Health Commission and the National Medical Products Administration to accelerate the mutual recognition between foreign and Chinese standards of medical supplies, so that the exported medical products under EU, Japanese and U.S. standards can also be applied to some fields in China.
Premier Li Keqiang visited the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and made an inspection on Feb. 1, putting forward specific requirements for our work in securing major medical supplies. Li stressed that now is a critical moment for the prevention and containment of the epidemic, and that securing key medical supplies in Wuhan and Hubei remained the top priority. As such, Li noted that we should continue to coordinate the supply of urgently needed materials, and every relevant company should work at full capacity and spare no effort to ensure the quantity and quality of the medical supplies.
Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, as well as the deployment of the leading group of the CPC Central Committee on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and the State Council's joint prevention and control mechanism, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will work with our member organizations as well as every province and city to effectively organize and secure the production of major medical supplies, actively mobilizing all sectors of society to resume, expand, and improve production capacity. We are confident that we will be able to successfully complete the task of securing medical supplies; we will be able to win the fight against the epidemic; and we will be able to protect people's lives and health. That's all for my introduction. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Tian. Now the floor is open for questions. Please identify your news outlet before asking questions. Thank you.