SCIO briefing on progress of Central Guidance Team in organizing and guiding epidemic control and medical rescue

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on March 31 in Wuhan, inviting members of the Central Guidance Team to brief the media about the progress of its work in epidemic control and medical rescue. April 2, 2020


I have two questions. First, how likely are sporadic cases tore-emerge, given the newly confirmed case in Wuhan on March 24, despite the city having experienced zero growth for several consecutive days? Second, what measures are being adopted to prevent potential risks caused by increased mobility when exits from Hubei province are reopened and transportation in Wuhan has been partially resumed? Thank you.

Ma Xiaowei:

Please allow me to invite Chang Jile, director of the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau of the NHC, to answer your questions.

Chang Jile:

Thank you. The transmission of the virus has been basically halted in Wuhan, thanks to the strenuous efforts made under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council as well as the guidance by the the Central Guidance Team. As you said, there has been good momentum whereby confirmed and suspected cases have been reduced to zero for several consecutive days across the entirety of Hubei province, including Wuhan. However, we must be aware that "zero growth" does not equal "zero risk." Potential risk cannot be totally ruled out as the possibility of sporadic or cluster infections remains when the frequency of mobility and the chances of exposure to external pathogenic sources have increased following the removal of restrictions on exits from Hubei province and with the resumption of local work, production, schools and transportation. Therefore, we should still be highly vigilant, and neither lax in thought or practice. 

First, we need to precisely calibrate our prevention and control work, acting in accordance with the facts, laws and scientific principles rather than being overwhelmed by the pursuit of "zero growth." Second, with concerted efforts and group work, we will take a firm grip on implementing every concrete measure regarding the prevention and control work and ensure that every individual realizes and practices their duty. Third, we will intensify our efforts to prevent, control and monitor the disease by means of discovering, reporting, quarantining and treating people in a timely fashion, taking control of confirmed and suspected cases and putting those developing fever or close contacts under medical observation. Meanwhile, we will highlight the work conducted in key regions, places and among certain groups of peoples. Reports should be delivered directly online within two hours once new cases are confirmed, test results from laboratories should be produced within 12 hours, and the epidemic disease investigation should abide by "the restrictions of time in three phases" within 24 hours. Fourth, the requirements issued to fever clinics and designated medical institutes in terms of categorized treatments should be strictly followed to prevent the epidemic from returning. Fifth, the public should be allowed easy access to updates on the epidemic situation in line with timely, accurate, open and transparent principles. Sixth, multiple platforms should be used to guide people how to adopt healthier lifestyles, such as, by washing hands, ventilating rooms, wearing face masks and avoiding large gatherings, to safeguard people's physical and psychological conditions. Thank you.

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