Press conference on epidemic control in post-Spring Festival travel rush

A press conference was held Saturday afternoon to introduce various measures related to COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control during the post-Spring Festival travel rush. February 18, 2020

Shenzhen Satellite TV Station:

As many enterprises resume work, overcrowding on the public transport system and close contact among passengers are inevitable. How can we do prevention and control work in this regard?

He Qinghua:   

Before returning to schools or workplaces by trains, cars or airliners, people are advised to observe their health conditions, like, whether you catch a cold, have a fever or show any symptoms. If you're healthy, we advise you to wear a face mask and pay attention to your personal hygiene habits, like, making sure you're coughing away from others and never spitting on ground. If a passenger in the same compartment shows any symptoms, like, coughing, you are advised to leave your information for registration and take appropriate protective measures. This is for your own good, but also for everyone's good. If the passenger is confirmed to have the disease, you, as a close contact, need to be quarantined for 14 days. If we fail to contact you due to an incomplete registration, it is irresponsible not only for your own health, but the health of your family and friends.  

Drivers and conductors should also strengthen health protection, such as wearing a mask. However, it is not necessary for passengers and crew members to wear a N95 face mask, as an ordinary medical mask is enough. At the same time, drivers and conductors should wear gloves because they often need to do cleaning jobs and do regular disinfection. If sputum and toilet dirt are found, they must be cleaned and sterilized in a timely manner. Through these efforts, the virus can be effectively prevented from transmitting on public vehicles. Thank you.

Liu Xiaoming:   

Please allow me to add one more point. Mr. He's remarks with many good points has just put forward clear requirements for personal protection, which is helpful to protect oneself as well as other passengers. In accordance with the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinpingon scientific containment and targeted policies, together with departments of human resources and social security, health, public security, railway and civil aviation, the Ministry of Transport has made overall plans for transportation of returning passengers and prevention and control of the epidemic. Specifically speaking, we have worked out five measures in this regard and there are six in total including what Mr. He has mentioned about personal protection.

First, we will step up our efforts to ensure disinfection, ventilation and cleaning of public transport stations and places, as well as public transport vehicles, and impose more strict body temperature screening of passengers.

Second, we will strictly control the occupancy rate of public transport. The capping of seat occupancy should be within 50% for long-distance passenger shuttles, liners and chartered vehicles for migrant workers so as to ensure passengers are seated at a safe distance from each other, and reserve some space for medical observation on board.

Third, we are focusing on ensuring registration and tracing of passenger information. We are collecting ID and phone numbers of passengers using roads, railways and waterways. Such classified information will be submitted to the health authorities in a timely manner. We have also launched a passenger registration system on a big data platform for integrated transport, providing a free service for railway passenger transportation companies.

Fourth, we are providing chartered vehicle services for migrant workers. The Ministry of Transport on Feb. 7 issued a notice to promote the experience and practice of Sichuan province, urging those large sources of migrant labor force and regions with a large number of such workers to step up their efforts to avoid travel peak teams and provide "door-to-door" chartered vehicle service, as well as waive highway tolls and provide green channels for their travel. We have ensured that transportation of migrant workers is well-organized, featuring health monitoring, smooth transportation and coordinated delivery. And the whole process can be traced. Currently, local governments of Sichuan, Shandong, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces have organized [relevant enterprises to provide] "door-to-door" transportation services for migrant workers. As of yesterday, a total of 26,000 migrant workers have returned to their posts thanks to such services.

Fifth, we have stepped up our efforts to ensure that transportation workers in areas on the front line to take precautionary and protective measures so as to prevent cross-infections.

Currently, the return trips of this year's Spring Festival travel rush is still ongoing, so the epidemic prevention and control remain a daunting task. The Ministry of Transport will work together with relevant departments and localities to coordinate cooperation and enhance protective measures so as to provide safe and convenient transportation services for the labor force and ensure the resumption of production as soon as possible. Thank you.

Li Jian:   

Thanks for your question. The aviation authorities will take the following measures: First, we will control passenger flows. Second, we have adopted a strict screening policy, and passengers are subject to body temperature checks upon entering the airports, boarding aircraft and during flights. Third, all the facilities will be disinfected, including aircraft and passenger channels. For the key components of the plane, such as high-efficiency particulate air filters, we will check and change it more frequently. Fourth, we have strengthened precautionary measures for the workers on the front line, including security personnel and cabin crew. This is for the protection of both the front-line health workers and the passengers. Fifth, a medical observation area has been reserved on each aircraft, and passengers with fever symptom will be seated in such areas. Last, the whole aircraft will be completely disinfected after each flight, especially those observation areas. There are detailed guidance and procedures for the disinfection.

Passengers can rest assured that the Civil Aviation Administration will continue to make science-based, dedicated and calm response to ensure the public's travels, and continue to ensure the effective prevention and control of the outbreak. Thank you. 

Li Wenxin:   

The railway authorities have introduced a series of effective measures to ensure the prevention and control of the epidemic during the post-Spring Festival travel rush season. First, we have been working hard to minimize the concentration of passengers in ticket booking areas, on board trains, as well as entering and exiting stations. Second, we have stepped up efforts to target passengers with fever symptoms and the emergency handling. A total of 596 passengers with fever detected on 502 trips have been properly handed over to the medical authorities. Third, we have ensured ventilation, disinfection and cleaning of the railway stations and trains. Fourth, we've strengthened precautionary measures to protect railway staff on the front line. As these workers have direct contact with passengers, so their precautions have been followed a strict standard. For example, they must take body temperature checks after their shifts, and those with temperatures higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius will not be allowed to work. 

I would also like to call on the passengers to take precautions during their return trips, taking temperature screenings and wearing face masks, so as to create a better environment in the train carriage. Let's work together to win the battle against the epidemic. Thank you. 

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