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

China News Service:

At present, some provinces are blocking roads bordering other provinces and are not allowing vehicles to pass. This has created difficulties for many workers trying to return to their work, and has also affected the transportation of some materials. How do you think we can solve the problem? Thank you.

Xu Yahua:

Thanks for your question. In the early period of the epidemic prevention and control work, some local governments took measures such as erecting roadblocks preventing outside vehicles from entering, which helped contain the spread of the epidemic to some extent. But at the same time, these measures brought some inconvenience to people's normal life, the transportation of goods as well as the return of migrant workers. Hence, through a recently-issued notice, the General Office of the State Council made specific arrangements to ensure smooth traffic flow. The Ministry of Transport will implement the decisions on these arrangements and take multiple measures in accordance with the principle of "one block and three continuations" to guarantee that road traffic flows in an orderly fashion. The primary measures are as follows:

First, we will strictly follow the principle of "one block and three continuations." We have issued two notices which clearly demand all local departments in charge of transportation to work in accordance with the principle to firmly block the channel of virus transmission, while ensure that the road transportation continues to operate, the non-obstructive transport passages for emergency goods continue to operate and the channels for transporting necessities of production and living continue to remain open. We will do our best to keep the orderly operation of the road network.

Second, we will do our best to keep roads clear. It is strictly prohibited to close the entrances and exits of expressways without authorization, to block provincial arterial highways, to forcibly isolate or cut off rural roads, to obstruct the passage of emergency transport vehicles, and to set up unauthorized checkpoints for epidemic prevention and control at expressway service areas, toll booths and provincial borders, or along the arterial highways. Meanwhile, we will strengthen collaboration between the ministry and provincial transport departments to create a joint schedule for the opening of closed expressways based on the local feedback we receive on their closure.

Xu Yahua:

Third, we will improve the capacity of our highways by guiding local transport departments to cooperate with local health and public security departments on the proper selection of quarantine locations. We will also help them strengthen on-site traffic diversion and control and improve test efficiency. As for checkpoints that are set up without approval, we will strengthen inter-department coordination and cooperate with local governments to resolutely close them in accordance with the relevant requirements of the State Council.

Fourth, we will give priority to the transportation of aid materials to the most affected areas such as Hubei province. We will adhere to targeted guidance, implement precise policy measures, restore road transportation services in an orderly manner, and give priority to transporting various types of aid materials to Hubei province, especially Wuhan. We require that local governments simplify the procedures on traffic permits for the staff transporting epidemic prevention supplies and permits for migrant workers returning to their places of work during the epidemic prevention and control period. For vehicles which hold the two passes, local governments are required to strictly implement the green channel policy to ensure emergency transportation measures are carried out. These vehicles will not be required to stop, undergo checks or pay tolls.

As of yesterday, the nation had delivered 166,000 metric tons of medical supplies and daily necessities to Hubei province by road, railway, waterway, and postal service.In addition, 688,000 metric tons of production materials such as thermal coal and fuel oil had also been delivered. Thank you.

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