Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Sunday urged intensifying efforts to fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and to bring it under control.
Speaking at a national conference in Beijing on the control of the epidemic, Wen urged relevant departments to be fully aware of the importance and urgency of the prevention and treatment of the disease, saying it has a bearing on the overall situation of China.
Much progress has been made in combating the disease so far, with the epidemic brought under control in some areas, but the overall situation remains grave, Wen said.
He called on the whole nation to work closely together to win the fierce battle against the disease.
Wen said preventing the spread of the disease is the most urgent task and the core of the control work at present. To fulfill this task, prevention and monitoring work must be strengthened so that the disease is spotted, reported, isolated and treated at the earliest possible stage.
He singled out a number of locations, including planes, trains, ships, automobiles and exit and entry ports, as key areas that quarantine work should be enhanced.
Among his other directions, Wen also urged determining the pathogeny of the disease as soon as possible, beefing up the treatment, establishing a nationwide mechanism to deal with emergencies in the fields of public health and intensifying cooperation and exchanges with international and regional organizations on the treatment of the disease.
Wen said the success of the fight against this disease depends on effective leadership, clearly defined responsibility and concrete work.
He urged governments of all levels to put the control of SARS high on their agenda, with leading officials personally supervising the work and taking overall responsibility for it.
Wen expressed the confidence that with the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, along with a responsible medical force, the nation will certainly win the battle against the epidemic.
(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2003)