Health workers in Wuhan carry out physical examinations for employees at a company who return to work on April 9, 2020. (Photo: Zhou Guoqiang/chinadaily.com.cn)
A meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for quicker steps to improve testing methods for COVID-19 and expand their usage to enable more targeted containment efforts and the reopening of businesses.
The leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on responding to novel coronavirus pneumonia said stronger testing capacities that allow for conducting nucleic acid testing and antibody tests on a large scale is a prerequisite to ensure normalized containment efforts.
The country must speed up the production of testing equipment that produces more accurate results in a more convenient and efficient manner and distribute the equipment to areas where it is needed most, such as hospitals and ports, the group said in a statement.
The goal is to ensure that all key groups can receive the tests and the testing coverage is also expanded to places with clusters of people, where individuals can obtain tests voluntarily.
The meeting urged measures to enable the test results to be mutually recognized between different areas so that more businesses can resume operations at full capacity, with the service sector and schools reopening in an orderly manner.
Local authorities must make sound arrangements over the travel peak for the tourist sector for the upcoming International Labor Day holiday, a five-day break starting on May 1, the group added.
With certain areas seeing outbreaks among clusters of people in certain areas and cases of cross infection within hospitals, the group required related departments to send working groups to help local authorities to find out their causes and make them public.
The movement of confirmed, suspected and asymptomatic cases and their close contacts must be tracked so that the path of transmission can be cut down as soon as possible and the gaps can be closed in containment measures, it said.
It also warned local authorities against concealing cases of infection, saying that information must be released in a transparent manner.
Authorities must also learn lessons from the latest outbreaks and attach great importance to the prevention of infections among clusters of people, especially within hospitals, it added.
The meeting pledged to send more professionals on epidemic prevention, equipment for diagnosis and medical treatment and other medical supplies to border cities in an effort to bolster their epidemic containment capacities.
The country will enhance supervision over medical supplies and enable easier customs clearance for epidemic containment materials being exported or sent as foreign aid, the group said.