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Xi: Nation cannot afford complacency

Firefighters disinfect the canteen in Wuhan No 23 Middle School in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, April 22, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Key meeting stresses need to reform disease prevention and control system

A key Party meeting on Wednesday stressed the need to reform China’s disease prevention and control system and bolster its monitoring and early warning capacities for outbreaks in a bid to close the gaps and strengthen weak areas exposed in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the country’s top political authority, approved decisions in the meeting to streamline the medicine and healthcare system and refine laws and regulations on public health and emergency management.

The Standing Committee heard a work report by the steering group sent by the CPC Central Committee to oversee the epidemic response in Hubei province, according to a statement released after the meeting.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, emphasized at the meeting that the steering group has fought alongside the people of Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, and prioritized efforts to contain the spread of the outbreak, treat infected patients and ensure the supply of resources.

It has made the utmost effort to stem the spread of the pandemic and striven to secure the first line of defense in the country’s epidemic containment, which has showcased China’s strength, spirit and efficiency, he said, adding that the group has made important contributions to winning the people’s war against the pandemic.

However, Xi said huge uncertainties still linger over the pandemic, given that the momentum of its global spread has yet to be curbed and the country is still seeing infections among clusters of people in certain areas.

Senior students walk through a temperature measuring station to enter Hubei Wuchang Experimental High School in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province, May 6, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

He called for unrelenting epidemic containment measures in Hubei province even as it has switched to epidemic control and prevention efforts on a regular basis.

The CPC Central Committee has decided to send a liaison group to Hubei to step up guidance and support to follow-up containment efforts in the area, Xi said.

The liaison group must continue to offer guidance regarding the rehabilitation of recovered patients and their psychological counseling and press for the implementation of normalized containment efforts to prevent the importation of infections and a possible rebound of the outbreak, he said.

Xi stressed that authorities can afford zero complacency in their work on all fronts to consolidate the outcomes of epidemic containment, and must not undo all the efforts that have been made.

The liaison group must also push forward the enforcement of the many policies rolled out to support economic and social development in Hubei to help restore the normal order of life and production at an early date, he said.

The meeting also underlined the importance of summarizing and employing practices proved to be effective during the epidemic containment in Hubei and Wuhan and closing the gaps and strengthening the weak areas that have already been exposed.

The country must optimize its emergency management and patient treatment systems in coping with major outbreaks and in the area of public health, and, with an emphasis on prevention, innovate in the methods and ways to conduct health campaigns, said the statement.

It is also important to improve the environment in rural and urban areas, improve public health facilities, popularize health knowledge and promote a more civilized, healthy and greener lifestyle among the public, it added.

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