SCIO briefing on the progress of COVID-19 control and medical treatment

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on Friday afternoon in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province, to brief the media on the progress of COVID-19 control and medical treatment. March 9, 2020

People's Daily:

We have learned that many medical workers have been infected by the virus since the outbreak. What are the reasons? In addition, what measures have been taken to protect the safety of medical workers on the frontline? Thank you.

Xi Yanchun:

Mr. Ding will answer this question.

Ding Xiangyang:

Thank you for the question. More than 3,000 medical workers in Hubei province were infected in the early days of the outbreak, mainly in January and before. Among these, 40 percent were infected in hospitals and 60 percent within communities. All those infected were local medical workers in Hubei, mostly from departments of non-infectious diseases. As for the reason, I think it was because of limited awareness of the virus and the lack of control and prevention knowledge. In the battle against the epidemic, some medical workers sacrificed their lives due to the infection, and we all feel sorry and sad for them.

General Secretary Xi Jinping attached great importance to the protection and care for medical workers. He made important instructions many times, sending care of the Party Central Committee towards the medical personnel who are working on the frontline of epidemic prevention and control.

After medical staff were found to be infected, we immediately strengthened their protection, worked out technical guidelines for infection prevention and specifications of prevention and control, and carried out supervision, inspection and training of all medical staff. Medics cannot work without training. We have also strengthened the supply of protective goods and ensured medical staff can take necessary rest in shifts. We all know that medical workers were very busy in the early days of the outbreak and could not get enough rest. Now, we have controlled infections within hospitals as a result of various strengthened measures put in place. According to our statistics, so far, there is no report of infection among the over 40,000 medical workers who came from across the country to support the treatment in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Medical workers are the backbone in the fight against the epidemic. They are working together with the heroic people in Wuhan to protect the city and Hubei province. It is due to the endeavors of the medical workers, who have led the charge against the epidemic and set aside their personal interests, that the epidemic prevention and control in Wuhan and Hubei has been effective. Many of their stories have been reported, and some of them are highly impressive. These include stories of Zhang Dingyu, the president of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and of Wu Yaling, a nurse at Huoshenshan Hospital, who bowed in the direction of her hometown three times after receiving news of her mother's death.

There are so many good doctors and nurses. They safeguard lives, heal the wounded and rescue the dying. They have lived up to the spirit of "angels in white" and we entrust them to protect our lives.

One patient wrote the following comment: "Those who say the stars are bright must not have seen the eyes of the medical staff working on the frontline. They gave me hope!"

I would also like to share another impressive stat with you. Among the medical workers sent to Wuhan and Hubei, do you know how many were born after 1990 and 2000? According to our statistics, the answer is more than 12,000, which is one third of the total amount.

During the fight against the epidemic, these young doctors and nurses have taken practical actions and fulfilled their responsibilities, shown their sense of responsibility and proven their value. These young people have grown up to be the backbone of the society, as well as the pride and hope of our country. I'd like to say to them, keep it up!

On behalf of the Central Guidance Team, I would like to express our great respect to all the medical workers on the frontline in their fight against the epidemic. Thank you.

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