The Asahi Shimbun:
First of all, I would like to send my deepest condolences to those who lost their lives due to the COVID-19. I also sincerely hope that those infected could soon recover. People in Japan are supporting Wuhan and Hubei. My question is: How do you think the epidemic is going in Hubei and Wuhan? As the prevention and control of COVID-19 outbreak is currently at its most critical stage, are there any more effective measures taken to contain this epidemic? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. Let's give the floor to Mr. Liang Wannian.
As for the current status of the epidemic, the daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases outside Wuhan fell from nearly 900 on Feb. 3 to less than 300 on Feb. 13, declining for 10 consecutive days. The daily new confirmed cases in Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Tibet, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps were less than five for three consecutive days. This is a good sign. As for the situation in Wuhan, we saw the big number of daily new emerging cases from Jan. 23 to Feb. 1, and the figure has shown a downward trend since Feb. 1. However, the situation is still tough for other cities in Hubei, such as Xiaogan and Huanggang, and the number of daily new emerging cases there is still increasing rapidly. The infection due to family reunion and imported cases is still occurring frequently, and infections in neighborhoods are still common in urban areas. Nevertheless, generally speaking, the spread of COVID-19 in these areas is slow, and infections in neighborhoods and local outbreak is comparatively rare. COVID-19 cases in other places such as Enshi and Shennongjia are still attributed to imported cases, and the risk of spread is relatively low.
As the epidemic prevention and control work in Wuhan comes to the most critical moment, we must continue to make it our top priority. In accordance with the principle of "firm confidence, solidarity, scientific prevention and control, and precise measures", we must focus on the prevention of the epidemic and treatment of patients, make overall plans and take various factors into consideration in the joint prevention and control of the epidemic. Meanwhile, we have to undertake classified, precise, scientific and targeted measures in different areas based on their different epidemic situations. For instance, in terms of Wuhan and other areas seriously stricken by the epidemic, the existing prevention and control measures should be continuously promoted and the priority is still their implementation. The work of grid-based health management should be implemented by every town, community, family, and even by every work position and every single person. The comprehensive screening of epidemic cases and the control of confirmed cases, suspected cases, febrile patients and their close contacts should be further strengthened to curb the spread of the virus and lower the infection rate. In the meantime, the principle of pooling patients, experts and medical resources for centralized treatment should be further implemented so that better resources will be used for treating severe and critical cases and the fatality rate will be reduced. For other areas, we should take classified, precise and scientific measures based on their different levels of risk to further prevent and control the epidemic. Thank you!