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Data key to staying ahead of pneumonia

Updated: 2020-01-23


China Daily


Chinese health authorities hold a news conference on the new pneumonia epidemic, Jan 22, 2020. [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/chinadaily.com.cn]

China will continue to publicly post daily information on the new viral pneumonia outbreak and prevention and control measures taken by the government, the National Health Commission said on Jan 22.

A daily system for posting disease-related messages has been set up, said Li Bin, the commission's deputy director.

As the ongoing Spring Festival travel rush, known as chunyun, might intensify the risk of the new strain of coronavirus spreading and make prevention more difficult, "We'll disclose information on the outbreak based on facts and the government's protective measures in a timely manner," Li said on Jan 22 at a State Council Information Office news conference on the outbreak.

Xu Shuqiang, director of the commission's health emergency response office, also highlighted the importance of timely information disclosure.

"After the new coronavirus hit the country, we guided Wuhan's health commission in posting epidemic and related prevention information on Dec 31, Jan 3, Jan 5 and Jan 9," Xu said, adding that such information has been posted every day since Jan 11.

As cases of the new form of pneumonia had been found outside Wuhan, "We've been posting information about confirmed and suspected cases nationwide since Monday, which can be found on our website," he said.

The daily posts will be maintained, including during the Spring Festival holiday, which begins on Friday and ends on Jan 30, and "won't be stopped until the outbreak doesn't need us to post", Xu said.

On Jan 20 President Xi Jinping stressed that information on the outbreak should be released in a timely manner and international cooperation strengthened.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, ordered that resolute efforts should be made to curb the spread of the virus, stressing that people's health and safety must be top priorities.