SCIO briefing on the work of civil affairs departments on COVID-19 control and livelihood security

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Monday morning in Beijing to introduce the work of civil affairs departments to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic and to secure people's basic livelihood. March 10, 2020

China Daily:

A considerable number of urban and rural community-level workers, committed and dedicated to prevention and control work in regard to COVID-19, played an effective role in containing the epidemic nationwide. Therefore, what targeted measures will be adopted to show our concern for those people? Thank you.

Chen Yueliang:

Thank you for your concern about this particular issue. "The notice on complete implementation regarding the concern and care for the community-level workers involved in the anti-epidemic frontline in both urban and rural areas" issued recently clarifies the central authorities' support and addresses concerns relating to these workers. In the next phase, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) will be accountable for playing its part in fully implementing the Notice.

First, it is important to develop stronger duty-bound awareness. The MCA has issued a notice which stipulates the responsibilities of local corresponding authorities involved in community governance and in organizing teams to provide community-level services in both urban and rural areas. While setting out specific measures in implementing the Notice, localities are required to draw up standardized work subsidies allocated in a precise way to the workers engaged in preventing and controlling the epidemic from spreading in various communities. 

Second, there is a need to enhance publicity. We will use multiple publicity approaches, such as, media reports, press releases and social media platforms to promulgate both the significance and specifications of the Notice and share successful experience and measures in implementing the Notice among localities nationwide. We will create a strong publicity atmosphere to help implement the measures that provide support and care for community-level workers.

Third, it is necessary to launch special programs. We will step up our efforts to coordinate with the various authorities concerned to reward outstanding community-level workers involved in the epidemic prevention and control from both urban and rural areas. And we will also initiate a program to elect the best-performing community-level workers with their contribution being reckoned as models of virtue across the country.

Fourth, continuity in implementing the Notice is equally important. We will join hands with other departments to study various policies targeted at community-level personnel, guide localities to gradually refine the professional system, rankings and remunerations for those people and continue to improve the mechanism focusing on fostering, evaluating, promoting, utilizing and rewarding the people involved. In doing so, the workers at community level can continue to improve their working competence.

Fifth, it is very important to show love and care to community-level workers through philanthropic programs. The MCA will cooperate with a number of philanthropic foundations, such as, Tencent Foundation, to launch the program "Join hands in the fight against the epidemic—actions to ensure love and care to volunteers, community workers, social workers and staff from elderly nursing homes in Hubei province."

Sixth, we have a responsibility to strengthen psychological consultations. The MCA has coordinated with social workers and the organizations involved in providing psychological consultation to community-level workers. The mental health services are also designated to alleviate the pressure of those workers when the epidemic ends. Alternative working schedules and compensatory time off will be adopted for community-level workers involved in epidemic prevention and control to have enough rest.

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