SCIO briefing on China's regular prevention and control of COVID-19

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Friday afternoon in Beijing on China's regular prevention and control of COVID-19. May 16, 2020

Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). Through arduous efforts, China's fight against COVID-19 has achieved major results with strategic significance. The prevention and control measures have also been normalized. Today, we have invited Mr. Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the National Health Commission (NHC), who will introduce China's regular prevention and control of COVID-19, and also answer some of your questions. Also present with us today are Mr. Cui Gang, class-II counsel of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control of the NHC; Ms. Guo Yanhong, supervisor of the Bureau of Medical Administration of the NHC; Mr. Liu Dengfeng, supervisor of the Department of Health Science, Technology and Education of the NHC; and Mr. Li Mingzhu, supervisor of the Department of International Cooperation of the NHC. First, let's give the floor to Mr. Zeng Yixin.

Zeng Yixin:

Friends from the media, good afternoon.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and through the nationwide arduous efforts, China's fight against the pandemic has achieved major results with strategic significance. Recently, General Secretary Xi Jinping has chaired a series of meetings of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, studying how best to deploy and improve the normalized prevention and control measures. Aiming at "forestalling imported infections and domestic resurgence," these meetings have strengthened guidance of the prevention and control efforts in key areas, consolidated current results and provided strong support for the comprehensive resumption of the social and economic order. On May 14, General Secretary Xi Jinping chaired another meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, studying effective implementation of regular epidemic prevention and control measures. It was stressed that we must never allow our hard-earned previous achievements on epidemic control to be made in vain, and we must ensure the victory in the battle against extreme poverty and the completion of the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Recently, the Central Leading Group for COVID-19 Prevention and Control issued guidelines in regard to promoting orderly resumption of work and production whilst effectively preventing and controlling the epidemic. It requires coordination between epidemic prevention and control and social and economic development, accelerating restoration of normal daily life and carrying out orderly resumption of work and production with a normalized situation of epidemic prevention. The State Council Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism also issued guidelines on the work to implement regular epidemic prevention and control. Specific measures include focusing on precautions; implementing early detection, reporting, isolation and treatment; prioritizing key steps; ensuring support and supply, and strengthening leadership, to name a few. Notices have also been issued to further build the capacity of medical institutions in regard to reducing the risk of nosocomial infection. Efforts are being undertaken to inspect the resumption of work and production as well as epidemic prevention and control in enterprises and institutions. The Ministry of Education and the NHC also jointly issued a technical plan for epidemic prevention and control in primary and middle schools, as well as nurseries and kindergartens, to help ensure orderly reopening of educational institutions. In accordance with the requirement of the CPC Central Committee, regions across China have been working promptly to implement various epidemic prevention and control works.

The NHC has been actively carrying out international cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing "China's experience" and "Chinese methods" with the rest of the world, and providing as much assistance and technical support to countries and regions as possible. Over the past week alone, the NHC talked over the phone and via video links with health ministers from Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, the U.K., Japan, and South Korea. It also held technical communication with African countries, during which China introduced its experiences in dealing with the novel coronavirus. Many experts have been sent to a number of countries to support their work.

Currently, China's epidemic prevention and control work is being carried out in a steady and orderly manner, whilst the resumption of production and everyday life has been accelerated. However, we must still be aware that there are sporadic cases domestically, and there is still an arduous task in preventing any rebound. Clustered infections have been reported in parts of China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, promoting further continuous spread of the virus. In addition, the epidemic situation outside China is still severe, imposing great pressure on efforts to prevent imported infections. The future trend of the COVID-19 pandemic contains many uncertainties. We need to raise awareness of the severe situation of "forestalling imported infections and domestic resurgence," as well as various potential risks. We also need to avoid carelessness, slackness and taking chances, and further secure the current achievement being made under the joint prevention and control mechanism. 

Next, the NHC will continue to implement the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council in regular epidemic prevention and control. The NHC will work hard to help establish a regular epidemic prevention and control mechanism in which cases are detected in a timely way, are promptly handled, precisely prevented and effectively treated. The prevention efforts in key regions and places will be prioritized. The NHC will continue to help enterprises, institutions and various types of public places to implement the prevention requirement, providing guidance to people regarding their personal protective measures. The NHC will also help schools to work out details of their reopening plans in order to ensure the safety and health of teachers and students. Although the epidemic prevention and control in Hubei province and Wuhan city has turned from an emergency plan to a normalized one, we exert every effort to strengthen and improve community-based prevention and control, and conduct nucleic acid tests and other works. The clustered infections in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces need to be handled in a timely and prompt manner. The cause for the infection should be quickly investigated so as to curb any further spread. We need to strengthen the epidemic prevention and control efforts during the "Two Sessions." Border cities also need to build their capacity in epidemic prevention and control, improving their ability in monitoring, testing and treating, in order to effectively forestall the spread of imported cases. The implementation of all these measures will effectively protect people's safety and health, accelerate the restoration of production and everyday life, and provide strong support for the orderly resumption of work, production and schools.

Hu Kaihong:

Thank you, Mr. Zeng. Now the floor is open for questions.

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