Beijing facing 'formidable' COVID-19 challenge, says health commission
Beijing is facing a formidable challenge in controlling and preventing the spread of COVID-19 and an expert team with epidemic control experience in Wuhan, Hubei province, has been deployed in the capital, the National Health Commission said late on June 14.
It said the team includes experts in disease control and prevention, epidemiology, and environmental disinfection, with some of them having fought on the front line of the battle against the disease in Wuhan, the hardest-hit city in China.
More samples will be collected from the Xinfadi produce market in Beijing's Fengtai district, the commission said, and people who work at the market or live nearby will be tested for novel coronavirus infection. Epidemiological investigations will be carried out for people in close contact with confirmed cases and they will be placed under medical observation.
Beijing has reported 79 confirmed cases in four days, who all had close contact with the Xinfadi market.
The importance of finding and reporting infections and suspected cases as quickly as possible will be promoted through a publicity campaign.
Local health authorities will have to report cases to the commission every two hours, and give it the results of tests within 12 hours. They must also finish epidemiological investigations of patients in 24 hours.
The commission will organize experts to give information to the public regularly and to respond to residents' concerns.
At a work conference on Saturday it ordered the enhancement of coronavirus control and prevention work in the capital and said more specific measures will be taken to detect cases in produce markets and fever clinics and to disinfect such places.
On Sunday, the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council organized a conference that emphasized the imposition of strict controls on the movement of people at Xinfadi and in neighboring areas, with work to trace sources of infection to be carried out at the same time.
The government will give strong support to improvement of the capital's coronavirus testing capacity, and implement strict management of communities in the district.
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