SCIO briefing on epidemic control and medical rescue in Hubei

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on Saturday morning in Wuhan, epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, to introduce an updated picture of epidemic control and medical rescue in Hubei province. February 16, 2020

Hubei Daily:

There is great difficulty in containing the spread of the virus at the community level due to the high population density. As the communities are the first line of the epidemic prevention and control work, how will you carry out further prevention and control work at the community level? Thank you.

Wang Hesheng:

Mr. Chang Jile will take your question.

Chang Jile:

General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the role of community in effectively containing the spread of the virus when he inspected the epidemic prevention and control work in Beijing on Feb. 10. The National Health Commission has resolutely implemented the spirit of Xi's important speech, decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and decisions of the central government group in Hubei province. We are sparing no effort to guide and supervise the epidemic prevention and control work at community level in Hubei according to guidelines issued by the State Council's Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism. For example, we sent experts in disease control and community health to work with local people to guide all-round community checks in 13 districts of Wuhan. We established expert groups on disinfection, health protection and psychological intervention, and worked out technical solutions for cleaning and disinfection in special places. We have produced handbooks setting out guidance on precaution of the virus targeting different groups of people, different places and vehicles based on conditions in Wuhan. We continue to guide the work of scientific disinfection, health protection and psychological assistance in communities. We have strengthened cooperation with provincial and municipal publicity departments to publicize common sense and skills of disinfection, psychological intervention and epidemic prevention and control in communities. We designated related provincial-level regions to offer pairing-up assistance to Hubei's 14 cities, prefectures and county-level cities apart from Wuhan. Under the unified leadership of the CPC Hubei Provincial Committee and the provincial government, people in cities of Hubei have been fully mobilized to carry out mass prevention and control and grid-based management have also been implemented in those cities to prevent outflow and spread of the epidemic.

Chang Jile:

First, we have strengthened organizational leadership of the prevention and control work of the outbreak and implemented administrative management responsibilities. A joint prevention and control mechanism and special shift for prevention and control work in communities have been established to supervise and inspect the implementation of community prevention and control measures.

Second, we have strengthened health education, issued health tips and medical advices. An emergency broadcast system has been fully activated to guide the public to correctly understand and avoid the virus by ensuring personal protection.

Third, we have fully implemented the screening work. According to the instructions of Vice Premier Sun Chunlan and under the guidance of the central government group, work teams consisting of Party members and cadres, grid management staff, community police, property management service staff and volunteers, are required to do a good job in comprehensive screening detection and body temperature checks in communities to ensure no one is missed. In the meantime, the work of screening and registration as well as timely reporting should be well organized through telephone and WeChat.

Fourth, four types of people who are identified through screening are admitted to hospitals and isolated to control the infection source and cut off the transmission route.

Fifth, they implement closed-off management of residential blocks. The cadres, who normally work in offices now come down into the neighborhoods and onto the epidemic frontline, report to the nearest post in the neighborhood, strictly implement the management system demanding temperature measurement and neighborhood entrance registration. And the duty watchmen go out onto the streets to patrol.

Sixth, they strengthen the special governance of environmental sanitation, strictly clean, disinfect and ventilate public places where crowds trend to gather, especially strengthen environmental governance of the farmer's markets, and implement environmental sanitation measures in each block, unit, family and individual, in order to prevent the spread of disease.

Chang Jile:

At the same time, when we went to other cities, prefectures, counties and villages in Hubei province to research and supervise, we found that the provincial administration has also taken many effective measures to strengthen epidemic prevention and control in the rural areas. For example, they have implemented a multi-level guarantee responsibility work mechanism for cadres working in villages. First, the cadres go to the villages every day to supervise and take the lead in epidemic prevention and control work. They establish a connecting network of cadres linked with the people, as well as working groups to help and offer support, trying to avoid villagers having to go outside their community or town. Villagers can look to village cadres in time to know the situation and report information.

Second, they have stepped up publicity and education efforts about epidemic prevention, give full play to the role of the group leaders of villages and residential units, as well as community block watchmen, who go from door to door teaching necessary prevention and control knowledge and providing protective supplies to every household.

Third, they implement the strictest prevention measures to resolutely curb the spread of the epidemic, by stopping all unnecessary activities, preventing the gathering of people and strengthening daily patrolling. Whenever they find anyone who wants to go out, they will promptly seek to discourage them. There are personnel on duty round-the-clock, and all incoming and outgoing individuals will be registered for checks. Village cadres in every village adopt a person-to-person watchful approach, keeping a close eye on village returnees, the ones with fever, suspected and confirmed patients, as well as all those who have had close contact with these people.

Fourth, they establish a register of confirmed patients, tracking and managing the outflow and inflow of individuals, implementing the "Five Taking Care of One" policy on key individuals, which means that five people of a village epidemic frontline commander, a senior village official, a watchman, a village group cadre, and a doctor will watch over a specific individual, and provide them with a "Five in One" toolkit package which includes a contact card, an epidemic information paper, a thermometer, a bag of protective gloves and a bag of facial masks. They will be capable of adaptation to suit changing circumstances.

Fifth, they enhance the monitoring of public opinion, establishing a village-block two-level public opinion monitoring team and a 24-hour duty system, so that they can investigate and verify any situation in a timely manner, then handle the situation and respond to the public questionings in time, so as to maintain the social order. Thank you.

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