Meeting calls for stronger global ties

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) – China urges more international co-operation in tackling virus outbreak.

China will promote health tests for inbound travellers at their countries of departure as part of a region-specific, tiered and categorised approach to prevent the importing of COVID-19 cases, under a decision made at a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Monday.

The meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak called for heightened international co-operation and epidemic prevention to enable safe and orderly cross-border travel.

In a statement, the meeting highlighted fresh challenges from the quick spread of the contagion outside China, saying that stronger precautionary measures must be adopted, including improved sharing of entry and exit information.

It is important to scale up efforts to sterilise flights, protect cabin crews, enable the declaration of health information and the taking of passengers’ body temperatures and the strengthening of in-flight control and prevention measures, the statement said.

The meeting pledged the strict quarantining of inbound and outbound travellers as well as epidemic control and prevention measures at ports.

For confirmed, suspected cases and close contacts among inbound travelers, it is imperative that testing, transferring, treatment, isolation and medical observation measures be adopted in accordance with regulations, the statement said.

China will seek to establish co-ordination mechanisms with education departments from relevant countries to postpone or reduce the two-way flow of overseas students, it added.

The meeting also urged efforts to guide and help Chinese citizens overseas in protecting themselves against the contagion. Ports with large volumes of inbound and outbound travellers such as Beijing must enforce meticulous quarantine measures, said the statement.

While the quick spread of the epidemic in Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicentre, has been brought under control, participants at the meeting stressed that the situation remains complex and more work must be done to prevent the outbreak from bouncing back.

The Chinese mainland reported 40 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 22 deaths on Sunday, bringing the numbers up to 80,735 and 3,119 respectively, according to the National Health Commission. The bulk of new confirmed cases came from Wuhan, and all the others were imported cases in Gansu province.

The Foreign Ministry established a 24-hour emergency response centre on Sunday as part of efforts to contain the importing of COVID-19 cases from overseas.

The centre will gather and analyse information and data, co-ordinate different departments and local authorities, and offer liaison and guidance for different embassies and consulates in preventing the importing of cases, the ministry said in a statement.

It will also co-ordinate quarantine measures for inbound travellers, promote the establishment of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to contain the virus and better protect Chinese citizens overseas against the contagion.

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