Premier Li calls for strict implementation of containment measures
Updated 22:54, 26-Jan-2020

China will extend its week-long Spring Festival break, a national holiday that was supposed to end on January 31, in an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday.

Schools will also be pushing back the beginning of the spring semester.

Li made the remarks while chairing a symposium on determining policy to control and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, calling for strict implementation of containment measures.

China is beefing up nationwide actions to contain the new pneumonia epidemic. Thirty provincial-level regions have reported cases of the novel coronavirus and the Level-1 public health emergency response mechanism was triggered on Saturday. 

A meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership on Saturday demanded all-out efforts to treat infected patients, speed up the augmentation of medical personnel and coordinate civilian and military medical resources.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, urged authorities at all levels to prioritize the safety and health of the people, noting that the prevention and control of the outbreak is currently the most important task. He expressed confidence in winning the battle against the outbreak. 

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Calling for strict implementation of President Xi's remarks, Premier Li said during the Sunday meeting that the State Council and the Party's Central Committee have made a series of important measures on containing the virus and minimizing casualties.

He urged authorities at all levels to fulfill their duties, guarantee the supply of relevant medicine and materials, and strengthen the protection of the medical staff fighting the virus. 

The meeting on Sunday also called for stronger containment and treatment efforts in Wuhan to ensure adequate supplies of medical equipment and medical personnel. 

Li also said development of vaccines should be accelerated and transparent disclosure of information should be guaranteed in earnest to address public concerns.  

More than half a million medical staff, along with five medical teams with a combined number of 686 doctors and nurses dispatched by Shanghai, Guangdong, Hunan, Sichuan and Zhejiang, have joined the epidemic prevention and control as well as treatment of patients in Hubei, according to the provincial health commission.

China will send an additional 12 teams of more than 1,600 medical staff to areas hit hard by the novel coronavirus outbreak in Hubei Province, director of the National Health Commission said at a press conference on Sunday.