We noticed that the epidemic has reached some nursing homes in Hubei and other places recently. May I ask Vice Minister Zhan Chengfu, what is the current situation of epidemic prevention and control in civil affairs service institutions, including welfare homes for children as well as nursing homes? What measures will the Ministry of Civil Affairs take to prevent and control the epidemic? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. First, allow me to explain the system of civil affairs service institutions for everyone. It is composed of five main types of institution: nursing homes, welfare homes for children, mental health welfare institutions, relief and management institutions for vagrants and beggars, and funeral services. Excluding funeral services, the first four institutions total 45,239 facilities, which serve more than 2.15 million people. There are 1,881 funeral services with cremation function. Recently, the "main battlefield" of civil services in the fight against COVID-19 has been in Wuhan. These institutions have all now implemented closed management, all those in care have undergone nucleic acid testing, while suspected and confirmed patients have all been isolated and treated following the guidance on receiving and treating all these in need via thorough examination. It should be noted that the epidemic management of civil affairs service institutions is carried out by local authorities, and relevant information will be issued by local governments. So, please check the information and data released by authorities at all levels.
Since the epidemic outbreak, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has prioritized the prevention and control of the epidemic in the civil affairs service institutions, and made every effort to ensure the safety of the institutions and people in care. That is a basic introduction, now we have carried out four major tasks: First, we have strengthened supervision and implementation. From the leaders of the ministry to the divisions and bureaus, eight working groups have been sent to local civil affairs departments to guide their work. Second, classification guidance has been conducted. We have formulated 18 guidelines, work regulations and process guides. Third, we will fully support the work in key epidemic areas. Two vice ministers led the teams to Wuhan to guide the charity donation and pension service work and 118 professionals in elderly care have been coordinated and sent to Wuhan to help. Fourth, we have carried out timely investigations and dealt with prominent problems. For example, we worked with the civil affairs departments of Hubei province and Wuhan to research and assist those stranded in Wuhan after the outbreak of the epidemic.
Overall, these measures have proven useful. Of course, we also clearly realize that the civil affairs service institutions have been crowded and the environment is closed-off. Also, the elderly, people with disabilities, orphans and vagrants and beggars living in the institutions have weak self-protection abilities, and funeral services also directly handle the deceased. As such, the risk of infection is high, and the prevention and control situation remains very grim. We will continue to tighten the controls, focus on key areas and key links, and consider general areas. We will continue to implement the existing policies and summarize the good experiences. Thank you.