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Locally tailored rules urged for resuming production

By Zhao Ruixue,Ouyang Shijia,,Zheng Yiran | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-12 02:29
Though resuming work may increase the risk of epidemic spread, suspending enterprise operations will hurt the supply of medical materials and daily necessities, which is not a sustainable option. [Photo/Sipa]

China is dedicated to speeding up production and resuming work as part of its larger drive to fight the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak and maintain economic stability, the country's top economic regulator said on Tuesday.

Cong Liang, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a news conference that although resuming work may increase the risk of the epidemic's spread, suspended business operations will hurt the supply of medical materials and daily necessities, which is not a sustainable option.

"On the one hand, we'll strive to prevent the spread of the epidemic. On the other, we will also focus on minimizing the economic fallout and shoring up the supply of daily necessities and urgently needed goods to deal with the corona­virus."

The central government urged different regions to introduce differentiated measures and arrange for workers to return to work in groups, in line with their own conditions, rather than all at once in order to reduce infection risks and maintain economic stability, Cong said.

For areas with a severe epidemic situation, their priority should be the epidemic prevention and control. Regions less affected by the epidemic should set up operation resumption standards and gradually create the conditions for reopening.

Cong noted that except for Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, the Chinese mainland is gradually resuming production, especially in key areas such as medical supplies, energy, food, transportation and logistics.

As of Monday, production capacity of masks in China had been restored to 76 percent. And 94.6 percent of food production and processing enterprises in China had resumed production, Cong said.

Ou Xiaoli, director of the National Development and Reform Commission's Department of Social Development, said that as many enterprises have gradually resumed production and people are returning to work, the demand for protective equipment is surging.

"We will help solve practical difficulties, such as providing funding and ensuring the supply of raw materials and accessories to speed up the production of protective equipment such as masks," Ou said.

"We encourage those not running at full capacity to adopt plans such as 16-hour double shifts or three eight-hour shifts to produce as much as possible. In addition, we will also offer funds to support those that need to expand their production capacity."

At the Qilu Pharmaceutical Co plant in Jinan, Shandong province, production lines for packaging medicine are working around the clock.

"To date, all our subsidiaries, factories and pharmaceutical research centers have resumed work in order to meet the market demand," said Niu Shuyun, deputy general manager of the company.

Guizhou province has urged related departments to help farmers prepare for the coming spring farming and carry out policies subsidizing farmers' purchases of seeds and agricultural machinery.

As a manufacturing powerhouse, Guangdong province, which usually needs a large number of skillful workers, released measures to ease enterprises' need for manpower.

Yang Jun in Guizhou and Li Wenfang in Guangzhou contributed to this story.

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