Mice control team works in Ganzi, Southwest China's Sichuan Province to examine the population of the rodent and test whether they carry plague bacteria in September 2019. (Photo: VCG)
Beijing has launched a city-wide rodent control campaign amid growing concern at the news of two plague patients being treated in a Beijing hospital.
The campaign, conducted by the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, aims to increase rat control and prevent epidemics. The measures will target rats and cockroaches, Beijing Daily reported on Thursday.
The commission noted that public places such as underground utilities, green land, restaurants, hotels, and residential communities are the primary target areas where the measures will be taken.
The campaign started on November 21 and will continue until the end of this month. "Winter is the season when people are vulnerable and can easily get infected with diseases," the commission noted.
Rat control practices are conducted every year in Beijing, but this year's campaign attracted special attention after the plague cases raised public concerns.
On November 12, two patients from North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were confirmed to be infected with plague in a Beijing hospital. A third patient diagnosed with plague on November 16 is being treated at a local hospital in Inner Mongolia.
A new case of bubonic plague in Inner Mongolia was found on November 27, according to the local health authorities. Four people who had close contact with the patient have been put in quarantine.
Reports about the plague cases sparked panic about a potential spread of the infectious and deadly disease and spurred the government to take action to protect citizens. The authorities in Inner Mongolia have implemented measures to contain the plague in response to the public health emergency, including quarantine measures and spraying fields from helicopters.