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

Die Presse:

Thank you. I was wondering which are the fields and industries you have identified as being the most vulnerable to the virus outbreak, and what precautions have been taken? And a follow-up question. Now there is a positive trend suggesting that the growth of the number of infections is decreasing. In the unlikely case that it reverses and the number goes up again, are you also flexible in adjusting some of the measures when it comes to re-opening businesses? Thank you.

He Qinghua:

Thank you for your question. As work and production gradually resume, people are paying attention to which industries and fields are more vulnerable to the virus. First, it is those with a high mobility and a dense population. Higher mobility means more contact among people, and as a result, a higher possibility of transmitting infections. Second, the medical and healthcare industry. Medical staff, in particular, are in constant direct contact with patients, and personnel in other related fields who may be in contact with patients are prone to infection if they fail to take good self-protection measures. To foster better personal protection, the National Health Commission issued guidelines on how to protect people from the novel coronavirus infection, and provided categorized suggestions on the protective equipment and measures needed for various groups facing different levels of risks. Thank you.

Cong Liang:

For your second question, as I mentioned earlier, localities facing different situations should adopt different ways to promote the resumption of work and production. However, this should be premised on that they are conducive to the prevention and control of the epidemic. The resumption of work must be done in a scientific and rational way and should be based on a strict evaluation of the development trends of the epidemic.

A friend from the media earlier asked how a potential surplus of masks resulting from the expansion of production capacity will eventually be dealt with.On Feb. 9, the National Development and Reform Commission, together with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, issued a notice encouraging companies' to produce supplies that are in shortage by ensuring them that surplus stock will be kept in government reserves. Key medical and protective supplies will be listed in the reserve catalog, and governments will purchase the extra stock. According to the notice, after the epidemic is brought under control, companies will be encouraged to switch to other forms of production while still producing some key medical and protective supplies based on the epidemic prevention and control needs and market demands. Local governments will also be encouraged to launch policies with a limited duration to support these companies. Therefore, the companies can rest assured and go all-out in their production. Thank you.

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