​SCIO briefing on the efforts of China's armed forces in fighting COVID-19

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on Mar. 2 in Beijing to brief the media on the efforts of China's armed forces in fighting COVID-19.

China.org.cn March 3, 2020

Shenzhen Satellite TV:

We have noticed that military transport aircraft including Y-20s were used to transfer medical staff and supplies. Could you give us more information about this?

Zhang Tianxiang:

The PLA has sent military medical support to Hubei by air, railway and road. The Air Force sent out its first batch of 450 military medics and medical supplies to Wuhan on Jan 24 from Shanghai, Chongqing, and Xi'an, Shaanxi province, by using three IL-76 transport planes.

On Feb. 2, the Air Force dispatched eight IL-76 transport aircraft, departing from Nanjing, Guangzhou, Lanzhou and Shenyang, taking the second batch of nearly 800 military medical personnel to Wuhan. On Feb. 13 and 17, the Air Force dispatched 12 Y-20, IL-76 and Y-93 transport aircraft in two waves, flying 19 sorties, and delivering the third batch of more than 1,600 military medical personnel to Wuhan. Among them, the Y-20s flew 10 sorties. This was also the first time that this type of large domestic-made military transport aircraft has participated in non-warfare military operations since its maiden flight in 2013.

This time, the Air Force formed a systematic, large-scale deployment of large and medium-sized transport aircraft to perform emergency airlifts, which also tested the Chinese PLA Air Force's rapid maneuverability and long-range delivery capabilities. At the same time, we coordinated with the railway department to take special measures such as adding additional temporary trains, adjusting train marshalling, and increasing station waiting time. On Feb. 2, 13, and 17, more than 1,200 medical personnel, who gathered at 22 stations across the country, and over 100 medical supplies were delivered to Wuhan via 18 high-speed trains. The close military-civilian coordination was highly efficient in completing the delivery mission. Thank you.

TASS Russian News Agency:

How many PLA troops have participated in the task of epidemic prevention and control so far? Thank you.

Zhao Haifei:

Thank you for your question. The Chinese armed forces have resolutely implemented the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee, the Central Military Commission, and Chairman Xi. It always keeps in mind the fundamental mission of serving the people wholeheartedly, insists on the people and their lives being the top priorities, promptly launches the joint prevention and control work mechanism, and goes all out to support local epidemic prevention and control work. 

At present, the Chinese military has selected and assigned more than 4,000 military medical personnel in batches to carry out medical missions. The troops stationed in Hubei province have assigned more than 160 personnel and more than 130 vehicles to perform supply transportation support tasks. The Hubei Military Region and the Armed Police Force's Hubei Provincial Corps are also actively involved, assisting local authorities in such actions as transporting supplies, conducting disinfection, and carrying out epidemic prevention and control, which give full play to their role as vanguards and commandos. Their practical actions have won them the great trust of the people. Whenever there is a major natural disaster, a major risk or challenge, a major hardship or danger, the people's army will always appear, stand up and go all out.

Next, we will make full preparations to continue supporting the local epidemic prevention and control at any time once an order is issued, according to the development of the epidemic and the needs of local epidemic prevention and control. We will resolutely win the people's battle against the epidemic. Thank you.

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