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Global Times

Beijing propels into action to contain coronavirus ahead of two sessions

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/29 17:31:56

The Beijing government on Wednesday issued guidelines calling for greater control and intensified screening of people coming to the capital from high-risk areas in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak before it advances to an expected spreading phase during return travel rush at the end of the Spring festival holidays.

Beijing has stepped up preparations to prevent the outbreak with an all-round effort ahead of the upcoming two sessions scheduled in March.

Shifting the battleground to the grassroots community and village level, according to the guidelines, Beijing has instructed officials at all levels to concentrate their resources and support the grassroots.

"The number of confirmed cases in the city is slowly increasing, and the outbreak is showing signs of moving from the importation to the diffusion period. Epidemic prevention is at a critical juncture with mass arrival of people returning to Beijing after the Spring Festival, "said the guideline.

Beijing's Xiaotangshan Hospital, built in 2003 as a dedicated hospital for SARS patients, is being rebuilt and expected to reopen in the coming days, with construction squads and physicians moving in, Global Times learned on Wednesday.

District governments shall beef up inspections of all local communities, hotels, construction sites, among other susceptible locations. Wildlife trade is strictly prohibited and live poultry markets in the city have been closed, according to the guidelines.

Beijing authorities announced the extension of the Spring Festival holiday by three days until February 2.

The latest guidelines request all workers and officials at different levels in state-owned institutes return to work on schedule and pay particular attention to the serious battle against the novel coronavirus.

Public health service institutes and all medical workers should swing to full action. People coming back to Beijing from other places should be included in community health management system, according to the guidelines.

For instance, communities in Beijing's southern Fangzhuang region have designated officials to follow up with residents returning from neighboring provinces and monitor their health conditions, besides arranging psychologists to provide counseling to residents, Wu Hao, director of community health service at Fangzhuang in Beijing's Fengtai district, said at a press conference held by the National Health Commission on Wednesday.

The guidelines also assured a sufficient supply of protective gear and daily goods such as vegetables. Community authorities should organize disinfection and garbage disposal to guarantee a clean and healthy environment for residents. Beijing residents can call on the hotline if they have any queries concerning the epidemic.

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