Hard-hit cities told to scale up prevention measures

A meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday called for the authorities in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, to accelerate steps to offer treatment to confirmed and suspected cases and isolate close contacts in curbing the contagion.

The meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the outbreak also stressed the need to enable Xiaogan and Huanggang, cities in Hubei province also hit hard by the outbreak, to adopt medical treatment and isolation measures on a par with those in Wuhan, the provincial capital.

The authorities in Hubei and Wuhan must scale up control over roads leading out of the province and the city to prevent the spread of the epidemic, said a statement released after the meeting.

It is important to focus on prioritized areas, make coordinated efforts and adopt differentiated strategies to resolutely win the battle against the outbreak and endeavor to meet the targets for social and economic development this year, the statement said.

It added that the government has managed to prevent travel peaks for those returning from the Spring Festival holiday, and local authorities must continue with relentless efforts in epidemic control.

Provincial-level authorities should classify their cities and counties into different risk levels based on the outbreak situation and come up with tailored strategies to curb the outbreak, it said, adding that the normal order of life and production should be restored based on the epidemic control situation.

The meeting’s participants underlined that effective pharmaceuticals and treatment are the crucial procedures in curbing the outbreak, and they called for efforts to summarize the experience of the treatment of almost 6,000 recovered patients and refine treatment plans.

They also required more targeted steps to prevent mild cases worsening into severe ones and to strengthen the treatment of patients in critical condition.

The application of drugs that have proved effective in clinical procedures must be fast-tracked to improve the recovery rate and reduce the fatality rate, the statement said.

The State Council mechanism on coordinated prevention and control of the outbreak must continue with efforts to ensure the supply of materials and human resources in curbing the outbreak, it added.