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Key meeting urges better care, spotting of all cases

By XU WEI | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-18 03:23

A meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Monday called for unremitting efforts to curb the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, with Hubei province and Wuhan urged to scale up measures to confirm infected cases and boost the supply of hospital beds.

The meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the outbreak also pledged to send more medical workers to the province and its capital, the epicenter of the outbreak, to enable more patients to obtain treatment and reduce the infection rate from the virus.

Authorities will gather more experts to treat patients in critical condition and the use of pharmaceuticals proved effective will be further promoted, according to a statement released after the meeting.

The meeting stressed the need to keep mild cases from worsening into severe ones, adding that protection for medical workers and ensuring the supply of their life necessities must be prioritized.

The supply of protective gowns and face masks for the province will be increased, as will efforts to accelerate the production and distribution of isolation gowns as well as oxygen equipment and other medical devices for the treatment of patients in critical condition.

With all-out control and prevention measures, China has managed to bring down the peak of the epidemic, reduce the intensity of its spread and prevent an outbreak on a larger scale, the statement said.

Positive momentum in the epidemic control situation has already emerged, it added.

The meeting called for better coordination of measures to control the outbreak through economic and social development.

Authorities in Hubei province must continue with measures to control outbound movement so as to resolutely prevent the spread of the virus within the province and to other areas, the statement said.

It also urged continuous epidemic prevention efforts in transportation vehicles and terminals, with steps to ensure the return of migrant workers in an orderly manner and to allow colleges to avoid travel peaks in starting the new semester.

Authorities outside of Hubei must urge businesses to enhance epidemic prevention while resuming normal operations and help businesses to solve problems with raw materials and funding, the statement said, adding that regions outside of hard-hit areas cannot block roads or refuse the entry of passengers, which could affect the restoration of business operations.

The number of newly confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia outside Hubei dropped for the 13th consecutive day on Sunday, the National Health Commission said.

The outbreak resulted in 1,770 deaths on the Chinese mainland with 70,548 people infected and 10,644 people still in critical condition as of Sunday. Hubei province had reported 58,182 cases of infection, with a total of 1,696 deaths in the outbreak.

China has dispatched over 30,000 medical workers, including 11,000 intensive-care specialists, to assist in the battle against the outbreak in Wuhan, the epicenter, Guo Yanhong, an official with the commission, said at a news briefing on Sunday.

On Monday, a joint team of experts from China and the World Health Organization began visiting Beijing and Guangdong and Sichuan provinces to conduct field trips on the epidemic control work, according to the commission.

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