Military medical staff airlifted by eight large transport planes of the air force of the People's Liberation Army arrive at Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 2, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Min)
BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- China is in a national mobilization to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Here are the latest developments:
-- A patient was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus in the city of Ziyang, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, after testing negative for the virus eight times previously, authorities said Tuesday.
-- Authorities in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality have rolled out a variety of measures to help local companies resume work.
So far, more than 610,000 workers have returned to work in big industrial companies in Chongqing, said Li Yong, with Chongqing's Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau.
-- Beijing health authorities have given 10 suggestions to the public as more people shop in supermarkets.
The suggestions include wearing masks, avoiding crowds, taking temperatures and keeping personal distances, according to Liu Xiaofeng, with the Beijing Center for Diseases Prevention and Control.
The center also asked Beijing's supermarkets to take a variety of measures to prevent virus transmission.
-- Parks in Beijing have imposed limits to the number of visitors as an anti-epidemic measure, the municipal park authorities said Tuesday.
Beijing Municipal Administration Center of Parks said the move aims to avoid gatherings, while more epidemic prevention and control measures have also been introduced since citizens recently made more visits to parks across the city.
-- China has offered clear guidelines for procurators to enforce the law in handling illegal cases related to the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
Tougher punishment will be inflicted on COVID-19 patients and carriers of the pathogen if they intentionally spread the virus by refusing or escaping from isolation and treatment, entering public venues or using public transport, on charges of the crime against public security in a dangerous manner, the guideline said.
-- More Chinese provinces have decided to lower their coronavirus emergency response after reporting no new cases for days.
South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the southwestern provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou are among the latest to lower the local emergency response from first-level to third-level. Anhui in east China also switched to second-level response, but added that top-level response still applies to one high-risk area -- the Yaohai District of its provincial capital Hefei.
Workers construct a designated hospital to treat novel coronavirus pneumonia patients in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Feb. 8, 2020. Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Guangxi has taken various measures, including enhancing the virus prevention publicity and expanding medical supplies production, to better fight against the epidemic. (Xinhua/Lu Boan)
Authorities in Sichuan said they will lower the province's emergency response from first-level to second-level starting on Wednesday, while north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will lower its emergency response from first-level to third-level starting on Wednesday.
Since late January, all provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland have activated top-level emergency responses to the COVID-19, canceling mass events, closing scenic attractions and suspending long-distance buses.
-- The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has approved two antibody test kits for the rapid detection of novel coronavirus infections.
According to the NMPA official website, it has fast-tracked three test kits for novel coronavirus infections, including two antibody test kits and one nucleic acid kit.
-- China has opened hotlines and online platforms to provide psychological aid in Hubei Province to better support the control of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE) Tuesday.
The psychological aid is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., offering services for medical staff, infected patients and their families, police and security personnel on the front line of the epidemic fight in Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, the MOE said on its website.
-- Medical waste from hospitals that are fighting the novel coronavirus epidemic in hard-hit Hubei Province has been burned in cement kilns as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the disease.
Huaxin cement company in Yangxin County said it has disposed of 55 tonnes of medical waste from designated hospitals fighting the epidemic in Hubei. The medical waste would eventually be turned into cement after thorough burning.
-- Chinese health authority said Tuesday it received reports of 508 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 71 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps by the end of Monday, bringing overall confirmed cases and total deaths on the mainland to 77,658 and 2,663, respectively.
-- Hubei Province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported 499 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 68 new deaths on Monday, the provincial health commission said Tuesday.
Medical workers wear protective suit at the First Hospital of Wuhan City in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)
-- China's daily new confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside Hubei Province, epicenter of the outbreak, dropped to nine on Monday, according to the National Health Commission.
-- China's daily number of newly cured and discharged novel coronavirus patients has surpassed that of new infections for the seventh consecutive day, according to the National Health Commission Tuesday.
Monday saw 2,589 people walk out of hospital after recovery, the National Health Commission said in its daily report. A total of 27,323 patients infected with the novel coronavirus had been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Monday, Chinese health authority said Tuesday.
-- China's unprecedented public health responses to the COVID-19 outbreak have yielded notable results in blocking human-to-human transmission of the virus, preventing or at least delaying hundreds of thousands of cases, said a joint expert team consisting of experts from China and the World Health Organization.
The assessment was given at a press conference on Monday in Beijing after the 25-member team conducted a nine-day field study trip in China. ■