Press conference on strengthening science-based epidemic prevention and control, orderly resumption of work and production

A press conference was held Tuesday morning to explain issues on strengthening science-based prevention and control of the COVID-19 (also known as novel coronavirus pneumonia) and orderly resumption of work and production. February 12, 2020

The Kyunghyang Shinmun:

If workers are confirmed to have caught the COVID-19 after returning to work, how big of an area in their work place should be shut down? Should the employer close the offices or lock down all the buildings and factories that have working staff?

He Qinghua:

Thanks for your question. If a confirmed case is found at a firm or a factory, we will thoroughly investigate who the infected person had been in close contact with.We will ask the person who he or she had been in contact with and the places he or she had been. We will ask the person's colleagues as well to get accurate answers. After the investigation, we will try and find the people who had been in close contact with the confirmed case and put them together under isolated observation. Any of them found with health problems during the period of isolated observation will receive medical attention immediately. If the confirmed case is not discovered at an early stage and has caused widespread infection, certain measures will be taken towards the employer. If the confirmed case is found early enough and people who had come into close contact with the person are placed under strict medical observation, there will be no need to shut down the company. Thank you.


I have two questions. First, there are a lot of restrictions that have been implemented in various different cities across China. Some places allow residents to go out of their homes only once every two to four days, and in some areas only once in five days. Is there any basis for these restrictions that have been put in place in different cities and towns across the country? What are the NDRC's opinions on these measures? Second, an official of the WHO yesterday said that they are concerned that Guangdong, Zhejiang and Henan could be hot spots for a further outbreak of the novel coronavirus. What's your response to the WHO's comments? Thank you.

Ou Xiaoli:

I'm glad to answer your questions. We also noticed that during this special period, some places have introduced strict restrictions on personnel entry and exit. For example, some places have adopted a reporting system for the resumption of work and production, some have set pre-approval conditions, and some have even detained the heads of companies that resumed work ahead of schedule. All these measures have violated the CPC Central Committee's spirit of strengthening the scientific prevention and control of the epidemic and resuming work and production in an orderly fashion. These kinds of tendencies will never be encouraged. Let me make it clear that we will definitely ban those simple and crude measures that restrict the resumption of work and production such as approval reporting.

I want to emphasize that we fully understand some local governments' good intentions to fulfill their duties on the epidemic prevention and control work. We deeply agree with them on the need to supervise enterprises in the implementation of prevention and control mechanisms, to map out clear responsibilities, to update employees' necessary information, and stock up on necessary supplies for daily prevention and control of the outbreak. However, instead of simply setting approval conditions or raising the threshold for the resumption of work and production, we should spend more time and energy to guide, care for and help enterprises solve actual problems on epidemic prevention and control during their resumption of work, and effectively relieve the worries of all employers and employees.

We have already asked local governments to correct those inappropriate activities through various means. Next, we will resolutely implement General Secretary Xi Jinping's guiding principle and the decisions and work arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.We will also strengthen the scientific prevention and control of the epidemic, maximize the creation of favorable conditions, and reduce factors that could interfere with our work in order to promote the orderly resumption of work and production. Thank you.

He Qinghua:

With large populations and a high degree of personnel mobility, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Henan provinces will face great pressures in their efforts to prevent and control the epidemic after people return to work.Therefore, all these key provinces have been asked to fully implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and carry out the relevant prevention and control measures. Since Feb. 3, the epidemic outbreak in China's provinces other than Hubei has seen a general downward trend. By the end of Feb. 10, a total of 381 newly confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection have been reported from China's provinces other than Hubei, showing a downward trend for seven consecutive days since Feb. 3. Thank you.

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