China insists on firm policy to prevent another COVID-19 outbreak
A construction site in Lanzhou, northwest China's Gansu Province, March 3, 2020. /Xinhua

A construction site in Lanzhou, northwest China's Gansu Province, March 3, 2020. /Xinhua

China insists on a firm policy of strict containment measures nationwide to avoid a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak that could be caused by transmission within community and from imported cases, said Chinese officials on Thursday.

As the pandemic prevails worldwide, local governments should still remain vigilant to curb the spread of the virus, closely following the guiding central policy, officials said at a Thursday meeting of the leading group of the CPC Central Committee on containing the novel coronavirus outbreak led by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. 

According to the announcements at the meeting, an emergency mechanism should be set up besides a normalized procedure of containment work, both at community and at custom border. 

Additionally, for Hubei Province, the worst-hit, preventive measures should be continued to stem the spread of the virus, the authorities said.

More specifically, there should be enough medical staff staying in the region to treat infected patients, especially those severely ill. Community workers should trace the origin of infections of any new cases, suspected cases and confirmed patients that show no symptoms. 

And local governments should report COVID-19 cases in a timely and transparent way, the meeting stressed. 

There should be differentiated containment guidelines for travelers from inbound water, road and air transportation to make sure any possibly infected patient. 

China has seen significant drop in new COVID-19 cases and most of the new cases reported in recent days are imported. On Wednesday, all of the 58 new infected patients came from overseas. 

Starting Monday this week, all international flights to Beijing are being diverted to 12 other airports across China because of the ongoing battle against coronavirus.

Starting Wednesday, Beijing will also require everyone coming from overseas to be tested for the coronavirus on top of being quarantined for 14 days. In a notice published online, city authorities said those who have entered the city within the last 14 days will also undergo mandatory testing.

The stricter measures – which apply regardless of one's final destination – follow a previous order that all overseas arrivals quarantine themselves at designated hotels at their own expense unless they live alone.