​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

Phoenix TV:

We have noticed that some experts recently suggested that a biodefense force should be established to ensure the country's biosafety. What do you think of this? Thank you.

Wu Qian:

We will not be commenting on the personal views of experts or scholars. It is common practice for countries to strengthen their national biosafety – this is something to which the international community has always focused on. The issue of biotechnology safety was addressed in particular in Agenda 21 and the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. From the perspective of protecting people's health, safeguarding national security and maintaining long-term stability, China has decided to integrate biosafety into its national security system so as to make a systematic plan for the risk prevention and control and governance system construction of national biosafety, and comprehensively improve its national biosafety governance capacity. The epidemic outbreak highlights the importance of biosafety. China will promote the introduction of a law on biosafety as soon as possible and accelerate the establishment of a national system of laws and regulations, and an institutional guarantee system on biosafety. Thank you.

Southern Metropolis Daily:

Could you explain what the logistics support team made up from troops stationed in Hubei province has done to guarantee the delivery of living materials in Wuhan? Thank you.

Zhang Tianxiang:

At the request of the Wuhan epidemic prevention and control headquarters and approved by the Central Military Commission, a logistics support team has been established to support the logistics distribution and market supply in Wuhan. Made up from troops stationed in Hubei province, the team takes charge of delivering living materials to local citizens and transporting medical protective materials. Among the officers and soldiers in the team, some took part in the relief work after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, some participated in flood rescue in 2016, and some performed tasks to support the 7th World Military Games. All the team members showed great enthusiasm in combating the epidemic. Established on Feb. 1, the team participated in its first transport task at 2 a.m. on Feb. 2. As of March 1, a total of 2,500 vehicles had been dispatched by the team, transporting more than 8,500 metric tons of daily necessities for the people and 23,700 pieces or sets of medical protective materials. A total of four helicopters had also been sent to transfer 6.5 metric tons of medical supplies. The team has helped solve the local citizens' problems in terms of daily life and medical protection, receiving praise from local people. Thank you.

Hong Kong's Economic Herald:

During the military support in fighting against the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Wuhan, how has the military and local authorities cooperated? 

Zhao Haifei:

The coordination between the military and local authorities are very close, smooth, and efficient. The Central Military Commission set up a coordination system, led by the CMC Logistics Department. Some related military departments and units also participated in dealing with public health emergencies within the army. They actively take part in the epidemic prevention and control work of the State Council, as well as the Central Guidance Team in Hubei. They also strengthen coordination work with local civil authorities. 

After the arrival of the military medical aid team in Wuhan, the Chinese military quickly established a joint meeting, briefing, and information sharing mechanism with the local government. In the fight against the epidemic, the military and the local government worked closely together, supported each other, exchanged deployed goods, such as goggles, N95 masks, and other medical supplies in short supply. In addition to medical aids, there have been good military and civilian cooperations in scientific rescue, medical discussions by medical professionals, giving out medications, and improving the diagnosis and treatment of patients in severe condition.. Moreover, it should be emphasized that the local authorities in Hubei and Wuhan, as well as the local civilians, care about the military medical teams and take the initiative to support us. Thank you.

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