SCIO briefing on progress of Central Guidance Team in Hubei to organize and guide epidemic control and medical rescue

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Friday afternoon in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, to introduce the progress being made by the Central Guidance Team in organizing and guiding works related to epidemic control and medical rescue in the fight against COVID-19. February 29, 2020

Yangtze River Cloud:

To against the epidemic in Hubei province, and in Wuhan in particular, we need to focus on two key points: the prevention and control work in urban and rural communities, and the overall treatment of patients. The epidemic containment work should be moved forward into communities, so what have we done in this aspect? And what role does it play in the overall prevention and control work? Thank you.

Ma Xiaowei:

Epidemic containment in communities is a very important part of the overall prevention and control work, as it can help us prevent the spread of the infectious disease at source. It is because we have strengthened the epidemic containment work in communities that the situation in Wuhan has gradually stabilized. I'd like to ask Mr. Yu Xuejun to answer these questions.

Yu Xuejun:

Thank you for your questions. Each of us lives in a community, which is the front line of joint prevention and control work, as well as being in the forefront of the battle against infection being brought in from beyond the city and ensuring non-proliferation within the urban area. The National Health Commission has earnestly implemented the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and resolutely carried out the decision policies and deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. We have followed the requirements of the central leading team guiding the epidemic control work to ensure every effort is made to push ahead with prevention and control work in the communities across Hubei as well as in Wuhan to defend the front line.

First, we have put forward a series of specific prevention and control measures for communities to control the source of infection as early as possible and block transmission routes. Vice Premier Sun Chunlan and the central leading team's members went to the frontline many times and carried out investigations and research on the spot. Combined with the characteristics of epidemic changes and the actual situation of prevention and control work in Wuhan, they put forward a series of effective prevention and control measures for communities, such as the mode of "five persons helping one". This "five persons" refers to a community cadre, a member of the community's grid management organization, a medical staff of the community, a police officer responsible for the community, and a volunteer. While the "one" refers to a confirmed, suspected or fever patient, or a person in close contact with patients.

In addition, for example, we have organized more than 50,000 Party members and cadres, over 30,000 community's cadres, and over 50,000 volunteers from Party and government organs, enterprises and institutions at all levels to work within the various communities. They have carried out door-to-door inquiries in a thorough way to ensure all patients are admitted to a hospital. Through guiding the work with classified measures and pushing ahead with the work level-by-level, we have gradually achieved the stage of joint prevention and control, as well as mass prevention and control. With the frontline being moved forward, we have effectively contained the source of infection, blocked the transmission path, and defended susceptible populations.

Second, through establishing community's epidemic prevention and control teams, we have guided local governments to implement prevention and control measures. In accordance with the requirements of the central leading team, the National Health Commission has appointed experts on disease control and on community work to form these teams with local fellow comrades. They have visited almost all communities to push ahead with the implementation of territorial responsibility through answering questions and offering solutions, as well as tour guidance. They have found clues to problems in a timely manner and summed up good experiences and practices to help grassroots communities further implement prevention and control measures. Moreover, the National Health Commission has also appointed more than 300 laboratory testing personnel, along with environmental, health and disinfection professionals from provinces, regions and cities excluding Hubei province to assist it as well as Wuhan in carrying out laboratory nucleic acid testing, and providing inspection guidance for cleaning, disinfection and ventilation in major, special and public areas.

Third, we have organized multiple sectors to use the Internet and big data technologies to conduct full epidemiological investigations. Such investigations are the basic and first step to prevent and control the epidemic at the community level. Hubei province and Wuhan city have organized multiple sectors to carry out such investigations using modern technologies. The work has achieved good results and provided a strong support to the formulation of overall prevention and control measures. In accordance with the Central Guidance Team's requirements, the National Health Committee has also selected over 400 investigators from outside Hubei to assist and guide Hubei, especially Wuhan, to conduct investigations. Strengthening this basic work has created favorable conditions for targeted epidemic prevention and control.

Fourth, we have enhanced technical guidance as well as the communication of relevant scientific knowledge to the general public. This is necessary to raise public awareness of health and self-protection. We have organized experts to write a guidebook called "Guidance on Community-level Prevention and Control of the COVID-19 Outbreak".

This guidebook provides scientific and standard guidance to different prevention and control units such as neighborhood committees, quarantine sites and community health service centers. It also gives targeted guidance on certain venues and groups of people. We also distributed materials to teach the public how to protect themselves against COVID-19 and feel less stressed, both offline and online, especially through new media. Easy to understand, the materials are popular with local residents and raised their awareness of self-protection. As a result, COVID-cases from family gatherings have fallen.

Next, in line with the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions, we will fully motivate local residents to discipline themselves and serve their communities. We will further promote epidemic prevention and control at the community level and consolidate our hard-won progress. We are determined to work with local people to win the battle against the epidemic.

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