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Notice on Furthering the Prevention and Control of the Current Covid-19 Epidemic

Promulgation Date: 2021-1-18
Title: 国务院应对新型冠状病毒感染肺炎疫情联防联控机制关于进一步做好当前新冠肺炎疫情防控工作的通知
Document Number:国办发明电〔2021〕1号
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: State Council Joint Mechanism for the Prevention and Control of the Covid-19 Epidemic

Source of text:

People’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and cities directly under the jurisdiction of central government, and all State Council ministries and commissions and directly managed agencies:

Under the strong leadership of the Party Centre with Xi Jinping at its core, China’s epidemic prevention and control has attained major strategic achievements, the epidemic on the whole has been effectively brought under control, but there cannot be a shred of neglect about the risk of resurgence. Recently, outside China the pandemic has constantly been spreading, in China multiple places have successively experienced concentrated outbreaks in certain areas, and has even seen multiple chains of transmission caused by multiple sources in the same province or city. In order to implement the decisions and arrangements of the Party Centre and State Council, further tighten up on the “Four Parties with Responsibility”, practice the requirement of the “Four Earlies”, tackle without the slightest relaxation each element of work toward “Outside Prevention of Transmission Entering, Inside Prevention of Transmission Rebounding”, and consolidate hard won achievements in prevention and control, you are hereby informed of the following related items.

I. Activating Epidemic Emergency Response Command Systems

1.Strengthen development of emergency response command systems. In all localities the main responsible comrades from the Party and government shall personally take charge, the related responsible comrades shall divide up their troops and ensure all areas are covered, reorganise and combine the forces of all departments, operate with flattened out chains of command, and develop the details of and improve prevention and control work objectives, plans and measures.

2.Set up and improve special taskforces. All localities shall refer to the related approaches of the State Council Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism, and combine this with the actual situation to set up special taskforces for dispatching resources for nucleic acid testing, epidemiological investigation and research on origins, handling transfers into isolation, collaboration between areas on investigations, and transport controls, etc., to increase capacity for responding to emergencies.

3.Maintain a state of 24-hour operation The emergency response command systems of all localities shall strengthen their status as having staff on duty and staying on guard, implement a system of attaching responsibility to posts, strictly implement daily reporting and zero case reporting systems, closely keep watch on the epidemic situation, be always on standby awaiting orders, and make certain that the moment an outbreak occurs they immediately set their emergency response in motion.

4.Strengthen frontline command forces. In areas where concentrated outbreaks occur, the provinces where they happen shall, at the same time as setting emergency response command systems in motion, set up frontline command centres, provincial Party committee or government main responsible comrades shall take command in person, and all related parties shall cooperate and assist.

II. Increasing Nucleic Acid Testing Capacity

5.Clarifying requirements as to nucleic acid testing capacity. Cities with a permanent population under 5 million, by coordinating intra-provincial resources, should have capacity to complete whole-of-population testing within two days. Cities with a permanent population of over 5 million, by coordinating intra-provincial resources and with national support, should have the capacity to complete whole-of-population nucleic acid testing within 3–5 days.

6.Addressing weaknesses in nucleic acid testing capacity. All localities shall undertake further efforts to scope out nucleic acid testing capacity, coordinate the efforts of CDCs, medical agencies, and third-party testing agencies, etc., and swiftly make up any insufficiencies in personnel, materials, equipment, etc. The National Health Commission shall coordinate and deploy national standby testing teams, promptly giving support to areas with weak testing capacity.

7.Improve the quality of nucleic testing. Strengthen quality control, make a good job of nucleic acid testing quality monitoring and evaluation, create specialist sampling teams, and promote the standardization and informatization of each step and the process of sampling, strengthen regulation of third-party testing agencies, formulate anticipatory plans for the work of nucleic acid testing organizations, strengthen uniform training of personnel, and increase the efficiency and quality of testing.

8.Strengthen screening of key groups. Tests should be carried out at least once per week for people working in cold chain food products and other high-risk groups, for people working in service industries regularly carry out nucleic acid sampling tests, in certain key spaces regularly carry out environmental nucleic acid testing, striving to proactively discover outbreaks.

III. Strengthening Epidemiological Investigative and Origin Research Efforts

9.Strengthen cooperation between different parties. Strengthen cooperation between CDCs, public security, industry and information technology, communications, transport, and other parties; set up epidemiological investigation teams for regular and ‘state-of-war’ situations, scientifically allocate specialisms in structures, apply in synthesis informatization and other means drawing on technology, strengthen drills for “preparing to do battle,” and carry out epidemiological investigations and research on origins in a standardized way. Make good use of the strengths of medical personnel, extending epidemiological investigation and origin research work into medical agencies and emergency relief centres.

10.Broaden the thinking on epidemiological investigations and research on origins. There is a need to liberate minds, undertake multi chain tracing analysis focusing on human to human, human to object, object to human transmission, investigating ‘humans’ and ‘objects’ at the same time, to get a clear grasp of the pulse of transmission.

11. Improving virus genetic sequencing capacity. Targeting the needs of preventing against the epidemic in multiple places dotted around the country, improve the layout of virus genetic sequencing capacity and, on top of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention doing a good job of its virus genetic sequencing work, give play to the strengths vis-à-vis genetic sequencing of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and the related agencies of those provinces where circumstances allow, strengthen training for technical staff, make a good job of data analysis and comparisons, and improve the accuracy of genetic sequencing.

IV. Tightening up Control on Isolation of Key Groups

12.Prepare sufficient isolation rooms. All localities must, according to the requirement of “isolating everyone who should be isolated, one person one room, centralised isolating” for contacts and contacts of contacts (hereafter ‘secondary contacts’), based on their own local situations, prepare beforehand a significant amount of isolation rooms that can be switched into isolation mode whenever necessary. Formulate plans for deploying and requisitioning reserve isolation facilities, as well as anticipatory plans for large-scale isolation in rural areas and plans for building temporary centralised isolation facilities. Special taskforces and designated people shall be responsible for work on deploying, requisitioning, and managing isolation facilities, ensuring that people to be isolated are transferred within 12 hours to centralised isolation facilities.

13.Strengthen management of isolation facilities. Carry out work to transform facilities for isolation strictly in accordance with the “Three Zones, Two Channels” standard, within isolation zones ensure sufficient food distribution personnel, waste collection personnel, and security personnel, ensure a clear division of labour with each sticking to their own duties. Once isolation facilities are up and running they must not provide any service unrelated to isolation. Strengthen training for management personnel, medical personnel and related service personnel, standardise food distribution, disinfecting, rubbish handling and other service and support work, avoiding cross infection. Strengthen daily health monitoring of people in isolation and, on discovering confirmed cases, suspected cases and asymptomatic cases immediately transfer them.

14.Strengthen isolation management and control of key areas and key groups. In high-risk areas, carry out “casting a net” checking on households, making certain that every single person infected is traced, and every contact and secondary contact is isolated, isolating everyone who should be isolated. When contacts and secondary contacts within the same province but in different areas are involved, the locality where the outbreak occurs shall immediately notify the area they have entered and collaborate in investigating; in inter-provincial scenarios, the province where an outbreak occurs shall immediately report it to the State Council Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism General Taskforce, and at the same time notify other relevant provinces, and the General Taskforce shall strengthen overall coordination and guidance and support.

V. Doing Everything Possible to Strengthen Medical Treatment

15. Strengthen treatment capacity. Choose infectious disease hospitals with strong comprehensive treatment capacity or general hospitals that line up with criteria on respiratory infectious disease prevention and control as designated hospitals for taking in Covid patients, and set up intensive care beds based on the requirement that these account for no fewer than 10% of all beds, make arrangements in advance for oxygen supply and other such infrastructure, establish and improve multi-disciplinary comprehensive diagnosis and treatment systems. On discovering an infected person, make certain they are transferred within 2 hours to a hospital designated for taking in Covid patients. Strictly implement the Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Covid-19 (Edition 8 for Trial Implementation), continue to combine Western and Chinese traditional medicine, move the bar forward and have a plan for each patient, and practice standardised treatment that ensures the same quality in each case. Arrange for medical workers with experience assisting in Hubei and prioritise their deployment to take part on the frontlines in treatment work.

16. Strengthen prevention and control against hospital transmission. Implement strict hospital transmission prevention and control systems, explicitly designate specific people responsible for monitoring. The main responsible comrades of health departments in the administrative system at all local levels shall personally take charge, medical agency main responsible comrades take overall responsibility, and each department shall have specific people charged with supervising, pressing for compliance and investigating. Strengthen regulation of private medical agencies and small independent clinics. Notification on cases where hospital transmission occurs in medical agencies shall be circulated around the whole country, in cases where the circumstances leading to transmission are serious severe action up to revoking licences to practice shall be taken according to law and regulations, and responsible will be held strictly to account.

VI. Prioritising Tackling Epidemic Prevention and Control in Rural Areas

17. Improve and implement epidemic prevention and control in rural areas. All localities shall treat rural area epidemic prevention and control as the top priority, strengthen prevention and control in rural areas around airports, in the areas where urban and rural meet, and in places with relatively high numbers of workers returning to hometowns, and strengthen grid management and finely-tuned management. Carry out centralised management of things like goods coming across borders into airports and abandoned rubbish in surrounding areas, and undertake the necessary preventive disinfecting. Up the frequency of nucleic acid testing for people working in service industries, especially cold chain workers, in areas where urban and rural meet. Ensure when it comes to people returning to hometowns for Spring Festival that registration of their information and routine health monitoring is done properly, and urge a reduction in going out and the use of personal protective measures.

18. Increase capacity for early discovery. Strengthen epidemic monitoring in rural areas, expand the scope of “test everyone who should be tested,” include primary-level medical and health agencies and small independent clinic staff, people needed in rural areas to do scoping out work and assist in investigations, and so on in regular nucleic acid testing, and implement the rules on “village reporting, township sampling, county testing” and the related handling procedures. Strictly implement the first consultation reporting system, make full use of the role of village clinics, small independent clinics, and pharmacies etc. as ‘points that can raise the alarm,’ ensure proper implementation of requiring real names be used and registered when prescribing or selling medicines like drugs to reduce fever, antiviral drugs, and antibiotics, and on discovering suspected patients with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, reduced sense of smell (taste), or diarrhea, it must be reported to the township health centre within 2 hours; delayed reporting, late reporting, and even concealment shall be dealt with severely. On receiving reports, township health centres shall immediately organise nucleic acid sampling and, as quickly as possible, send to county-level medical agencies for testing. Within counties strengthen overall coordination, expand training for personnel in township health centres with weak sampling capacity and up the level of material support for sampling, and have county-level medical agencies and teams of experts strengthen guidance visits and inspections of primary-level monitoring and scoping out work.

19. Strengthen prevention and control at key points. Tighten up on holding township Party committees and governments, village Party committees and villagers’ committees etc. responsible, make sure work to check on key groups and grid management is done properly, organise and carry out at-home health monitoring. Strengthen prevention and control management of facilities like markets, villager activity rooms, chess rooms, etc. and strictly implement guideline requirements for prevention and control in elderly care agencies, welfare agencies, prisons and detention centres and other facilities where people are closely concentrated, and when necessary implement closed management; the relevant sector supervisory departments shall properly shoulder their responsibilities. Guide rural areas to reduce activities involving gatherings, promote a change in habits and customs, advocate “postponing celebrations, paring down funerals, and stopping banquets,” and strictly control temple fairs and other local customs. Temporarily stop activities involving gatherings in places of worship, and stop illegal religious activities in accordance with law.

VII. Making a Good Job of Issuing Information and Communications Work

20. Promptly report and issue epidemic information. Strictly in accordance with the requirements of the Covid-19 Prevention and Control Protocol (Edition 7) and the for Covid-19 (Edition 8 for Trial Implementation) diagnose and report confirmed cases, suspected cases and asymptomatic cases, medical agencies on receiving a report of a positive nucleic acid test should within 2 hours complete direct online reporting, and medical agencies within the jurisdiction should immediately put in motion epidemiological investigations and within 2 hours complete checks; no locality may take it upon themselves to add additional procedures such as group consultations and reviews. Improve mechanisms for issuing epidemic information, when an outbreak occurs promptly issue authoritative information, and a press conference shall be held no later than the following day. Cities (prefectural-level cities, autonomous prefectures, and prefectures) where outbreaks occur shall hold daily press conferences, the provinces where they are located shall during the initial phase of an outbreak be promptly and proactively vocal, and positive propaganda and policy interpretation shall be strengthened.

21. Strengthen health education publicity. Make creative use of popular and easily understandable publicity methods, to guide the public to develop good hygiene and lifestyles and to continue with normalised prevention and control requirements including wearing masks, regularly washing hands, not gathering etc., achieving public prevention and control.

22. Ensure material support. Strengthen support vis-à-vis daily necessities, household heating, etc., show well concern and compassion for members of the public remaining where they are over Spring Festival, and properly attend to work to meet the basic needs of members of the public in difficulty. Do everything possible to make a good job of guarantees for transporting emergency materials such as those needed in epidemic prevention and control and in production and everyday life, according to the principle of “not cutting off unless necessary,” ensuring vehicles doing the transporting can quickly and conveniently move about.

At present epidemic prevention and control is in a key period, all localities must treat epidemic prevention and control as their first priority, ensure every item of work is attached to and implemented by departments, agencies, and individuals, make each measure more detailed and concrete, and leading cadres shall take the lead in studying and grasping epidemic prevention and control policies and rules, arrangements and requirements. Strengthen supervision and inspections, set up mechanisms for circulating notices, circulate notices in regard to standout issues that emerge in epidemic prevention and control, and, when problems are serious, hold the responsible strictly to account in accordance with law and regulations. Effectively enforce responsibility for investing in prevention and control, make certain that the necessary funds and materials are promptly placed where needed, show compassion and concern for frontline CDC personnel, medical workers, community workers, etc., and implement related subsidy policies as rules stipulate. Before Spring Festival, all provinces must carry out epidemic prevention and control drills; the State Council Covid-19 Epidemic Response Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism’s General Taskforce shall carry out inspections and give guidance on drills.

State Council Joint Mechanism for the Prevention and Control of the Covid-19 Epidemic

January 18, 2021


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