Chinese health authority urges strict grassroots-level epidemic prevention measures amid Wuhan coronavirus outbreak
Global Times


(Photo: Xinhua)

With the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in China soaring to 2,744 as of Sunday midnight, with 461 in critical condition and 80 dead, the key prevention task now is to prevent the spread of the epidemic and track down migrant people, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a daily briefing on Monday morning.

The National Health Commission is working hard to control the Wuhan coronavirus within communities, tracking population flow, managing close contactors and controlling the environment as well as promoting health education, He Qinghua, deputy director of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control at China's National Health Commission, told the briefing.

He noted that some places still lack determination in controlling the epidemic and that health authorities will supervise and urge them to implement preventive measures. He added that grassroots Party organizations, residential communities and ordinary citizens must be mobilized to contain the spread of the virus. 

At the moment, rural villages are a weak point for current coronavirus prevention, and there are still some local villages which are not working on the task in a timely manner. The China health commission will hold a video and telephone meeting this afternoon to promote the grassroots-level implementation of prevention measures.

Although the novel coronavirus epidemic is still at a complicated and crucial stage due to factors such as the unknown nature of the virus and a lack of supplies, the virus has not yet mutated and the government's current containment measures will have an effect in the near future. The country is confident that it will win the battle against the epidemic, Chinese officials said.

The State Council announced early Monday morning that China is extending the Spring Festival public holiday period to February 2 as a major measure to prevent the spread of the virus.

People should strictly abide to the extension of Spring Festival holidays to prevent people-to-people contact, Feng Luzhao, a research fellow at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the briefing. People are encouraged to stay at home and avoid public places to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Chinese CDC researcher also suggested that those who have lived in or traveled to Wuhan should voluntarily report to local community committees. They should also take their temperatures twice a day.