Press conference on COVID-19 prevention and regulation measures for farmers markets

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on July 3 to brief the media on COVID-19 prevention and regulation measures for farmers markets. July 7, 2020

Economic Daily:

We know that after the coronavirus outbreak in Beijing's Xinfadi market, many people felt nervous visiting wholesale agricultural markets. My question is, are there any emergency measures that can be taken to promptly deal with and control outbreaks in markets to prevent the virus from spreading? Thank you.

He Qinghua:

Thank you for your interest in the vendors and staff in wholesale agricultural markets. These hardworking people often have a long day at work in the markets, so catching a cold or a fever is inevitable sometimes. Once such a situation occurs, we will take the following measures:

First, if the traders and staff working in wholesale agricultural markets display symptoms such as a cough or fever, they should first of all report to the market operators — this is very important —and then they should follow certain measures. They need to go to hospital as soon as possible, but avoid using public transport, because using public transport when one has a cold or fever is high risk. They should also wear a face mask throughout their journey to hospital.

Second, if the person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the market operators should actively work with the relevant authorities to conduct epidemiological investigations, trace the close contacts, and handle the close contacts with appropriate measures. This is why people should report to the market operators first of all as I just mentioned. Once the market operators are aware that there is a confirmed case in their market, they should track the close contacts. Meanwhile, our professional team from the department of disease control and prevention will disinfect the market in all aspects. The air conditioning system in the market, if it has one, will be disinfected and properly handled. The market can then reopen once it meets the requirements.

In addition, if a market was closed due to an outbreak, it will be sealed off to people and goods that do not have permission to enter. If absolutely necessary, persons must be approved by the joint epidemic prevention and control mechanism, as required by the work, and the epidemic control and prevention work. When will we reopen these markets? This will be after the market meets the requirements of the epidemic control and prevention work, and also the needs of the resumption of work, production, and business activities, to fully restore local production and people's livelihoods. According to Article 42 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, the decision to reopen a market should be made by the organ that made the decision to close the market. Thank you.

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