China launches joint prevention and control mechanism on viral pneumonia

EYEAFRICA TV: Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China: China’s National Health Commission and related departments Tuesday launched a joint prevention and control working mechanism to deal with the epidemic situation of novel coronavirus.

Cities including Central China’s Wuhan have also taken active measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Under the mechanism, national working groups and panels will be sent to guide the implementation of the prevention measures.

The commission on Tuesday reported that as of Monday midnight, a total of 291 novel coronavirus cases and six deaths have been confirmed in China.

Among the confirmed cases, 258 are from Wuhan and 12 from its surrounding areas in Hubei Province, five from Beijing, 14 from Guangdong Province and two from Shanghai.

All six deaths happened in Wuhan, where the virus originated, while altogether 25 infected in the city have been cured.

Fourteen provinces (regions and cities) reported 54 suspected cases.

A total of 1,739 people have been found having had close contacts with the patients with viral pneumonia. Among them, 817 have been removed from medical observation and 922 are under medical observation.

Experts confirmed that the virus is infectious between humans and cases of transmission between patients and medical staff have been reported. The infection source of the novel coronavirus hasn’t been fully traced and it has the possibility of variation and risk of further spreading.

To control the novel coronavirus from further spreading, Wuhan’s authorities ordered local travel agencies to cancel all group trips, while deployed police and traffic management officers to check up vehicles randomly to block the movement of live poultry and wild animals via cars.

Airports, train stations, long-haul coach stations and wharfs in the city have set up temperature detection posts and screening posts as well as enhancing examination.

“We will make sure the virus not to spread from our city and not to transmit to other cities. We can’t let the epidemic situation in Wuhan to bring pressure to other cities and regions. In principle, we suggest that if it’s not necessary, do not come to Wuhan and for Wuhan residents, if there is no special requirement, do not leave Wuhan. This can help reduce the movement of people, thus reduce the possibility of virus spreading, as well as lighten the pressure on following prevention and treatment work,” said Zhou Xianwang, mayor of Wuhan.

Wuhan’s health authorities briefed the pulic on the disease’s latest situation at a press conference, giving an explanation over why the number of cases has seen a sudden increase in the past few days.

“First, all hospitals above grade two in Wuhan have set up fever clinics, and their telephone numbers have been made public by the Wuhan City Health Commission. Second, the diagnostic test reagent has proven effective. Since China’s National Health Commission authorized the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention on January 16 to use the reagent, the testing technology has been continuously optimized and improved,” said Peng Houpeng, deputy director of Wuhan City Health Commission.

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