Press conference on nucleic acid testing and advice concerning public health during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday

The Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council held a press conference on June 24, 2020, in Beijing to brief the media on nucleic acid testing and offer advice concerning public health during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday. June 26, 2020


I learnt online that some regions imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving travelers, especially for those arriving from Beijing, regardless their nucleic acid test results. Some were even required to undergo charged tests as much as four times during quarantine. Are these measures necessary? Will there be any measures enforced to achieve mutual recognition of the test results in different places? Thank you.

He Qinghua:

Thank you for your questions. The "one size fits all" approach is not correct. The central government and Beijing municipal government have made clear regulations in this regard. The measures can be summarized in four aspects. First, it is clearly stipulated that those who visited the Xinfadi wholesale market and people working there, and people living in medium- and high-risk communities and townships must undergo the nucleic acid test. Second, Beijing has clearly prohibited people from medium- and high-risk areas from leaving the city. Other people who have to undertake essential travel must present a negative nucleic acid test result conducted within seven days of departure. Third, people who hold a negative nucleic acid test report or health code containing negative result information should not be quarantined or restricted at their destinations, so long as they take personal protection measures and have a normal temperature. No other restrictions may be set up by local governments. Fourth, for people unable to present a negative nucleic acid test result conducted within seven days of departure due to special circumstances, local government in the destination should work to facilitate nucleic acid testing for them. People test positive should receive medical treatment in quarantine timely. And those who test negative, have a normal temperature and are undertaking personal protection measures, should be allowed free movement. The State Council has issued a guideline concerning the nucleic acid testing of people under centralized medical observation on March 31. This No.124 document, issued by the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19, is available to the public online. The main content of the document can be summarized as "7+7", which means after seven days of centralized quarantine, those who have tested negative twice are required to undergo home quarantine for another seven days. The total quarantine should last 14 days. Let me explain in detail. Those who are not the "four categories of people" (confirmed cases, suspected cases, febrile patients who might be carriers, and close contacts) will be placed under centralized quarantine for 14 days for medical observation. On the third or fifth day of the quarantine, they will undergo nucleic acid tests. If the two results prove negative, they can return to the community after seven days of centralized quarantine and undergo seven days of home quarantine. This is the so-called the "7+7+2" measure.

As you suggested, local governments should issue clear regulations on the additional testing, according to the requirement the of epidemic prevention and control. It is clearly stipulated that the charges for testing are set by the provincial price department. The illegal measures formulated in some areas should be corrected in time. Thank you.

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