The last question.
China Review News:
As work resumes, transport services will also gradually resume, bringing a greater challenge to the epidemic prevention and control work. What measures will the Ministry of Transport take to deal with this? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. The post-Spring Festival return trips are now more dispersed and spread out over a longer duration due to the epidemic outbreak. Our big data estimates that another 160 million people will return to where they work from now till Feb. 18, which marks the end date of the Spring Festival travel rush. To guarantee that these people have smooth trips back to their workplace and resume work and production, we are implementing the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the decisions and arrangements of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, resolutely preventing the epidemic from spreading through transport vehicles. The measures we are taking are as follows.
On the one hand, we have made overall arrangements to prevent spread of the coronavirus-caused pneumonia through public transport vehicles.
First, in accordance with technical requirements for epidemic prevention and control, we have taken prompt actions to strengthen the sterilization, ventilation and sanitation of transport hubs and public transport vehicles.
Second, we have strengthened temperature checks for passengers at both entrances and exits of transport hubs. Passengers found to have caught a fever above 37.3 degrees Celsius will be transferred to health departments in a timely manner.
Third, we have taken strict measures to control the passenger load factor on public transport vehicles. During the Spring Festival travel rush, long distance shuttle buses, ships, and chartered vehicles for migrant workers are required to maintain passenger load rate of not more than 50 per cent. This is a measure to create conditions for separate and scattered seats as well as setting observation areas on public transport vehicles.
Fourth, we have taken steps to register passenger information. We collect ID information and phone numbers of road and waterway passengers, then classify and hand over the information to health departments.
Fifth, we take efficient epidemic prevention and control measures during trips as well as response measures. Passengers who show signs of fever during their trips should be temporarily isolated in an emergency area and then sent to an observation station as soon as possible.
Sixth, we should enhance protection of front-line workers in the transportation sector to avoid cross infection. Here I want to take this opportunity to remind the general public to wear masks while taking public transport vehicles and passengers who have a fever or have close contact with infected people should report to related authorities immediately. We hope that everyone can take good care of themselves and others through conscious protection awareness and concrete actions.
On the other hand, we do our best to ensure transportation services.
First, we should make sure that road passenger transportation services resume in an orderly manner. We have provided guidance to some provinces aside from Hubei to resume their road passenger transportation operations in an orderly manner. Inter-province and inter-city bus services have been gradually resumed in Sichuan, Guangdong, Hunan, Shandong, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces by February 10. Eighteen provinces and municipalities have gradually resumed their bus services.
Second, we are ensuring the transportation of migrant workers returning to work by hiring chartered buses. A notice issued by the Ministry of Transport yesterday outlined comprehensive arrangements regarding to transportation of migrant workers returning to work. Transportation services of migrant workers such as point-to-point direct bus services have been well organized in major labor exporting provinces and areas where non-local people gather. These chartered vehicles for migrant workers are exempt from expressway tolls and given preferential access. Up to yesterday, local governments in Sichuan, Shandong and Zhejiang provinces have arranged over 200 chartered vehicles to send about 9000 migrant workers back to their workplaces.
Third, urban public transport services have gradually resumed. As a result of the impact of the epidemic, 27 provinces and 428 cities across China suspended their bus services. Now these cities have gradually resumed their bus services. By yesterday, 20 prefecture-level cities and 18 county-level cities resumed their bus services and rail transportation operations have also gradually resumed in cities such as Changchun.
Fourth, we have strengthened guarantee of transportation of emergency supplies. We have guaranteed the emergency transportation of items such as protective suits, masks, diagnostic kits, disinfectants and thermometers; people's daily necessities such as grain, oil, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, fruit and vegetables; as well as fuel such as coal, oil and gas energy which are classified as emergency supplies.Vehicles transporting these emergency supplies have a special green passage and are given priority on roads and highways. In the meantime, we have followed the requirements of the State Council and reached a consensus with health authorities to implement supportive measures. Drivers, loaders and porters who are responsible for transporting emergency supplies to Hubei province and other heavily affected areas, drivers and conductors of road and waterway vehicles who do not enter the Wuhan city will not be isolated for 14 days as long as their body temperatures are normal. By doing so, we can guarantee general resumption of production and work and supply and transportation of various goods and materials that people need for their daily lives. Thank you.
The SCIO will hold more press conferences on epidemic prevention and control work, and please pay attention to our interview notice. Thanks again to our speakers. Thank you for your attendance today. The press conference is hereby concluded.
Translated and edited by Zhang Liying, Zhang Junmian, Wang Yiming, Wang Qian, Zhang Rui, Li Xiao, Gong Yingchun, Wang Wei, Liu Sitong, Zhang Rui, Lin Liyao, Zhou Jing, Duan Yaying, Huang Shan, Gao Zhan, Wu Jin, Yuan Fang, He Shan, Zhu Bochen, Fan Junmei, Zhang Jiaqi, Li Huiru, Chen Yinjun, Yang Xi, Jay Birbeck, Kenneth Teh Chiu Soong. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.