Xi orders resolute efforts to curb novel coronavirus spread

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) - President Xi Jinping has ordered resolute efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that caused cases of pneumonia.

Instructing on the work related to the pneumonia situation, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed putting people's safety and health as the top priority.

As of 6 pm Monday, a total of 224 cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in China. Of them, 217 had been confirmed and 7 remained suspected.

Overseas, one case has been confirmed in Japan, two in Thailand, and one in the Republic of Korea.

Xi ordered heightened attention and all-out prevention and control efforts.

The prevention and control work is crucial at the moment due to the large passenger flows during the Spring Festival holiday, Xi said.

The Party committees and governments at all levels must put people's safety and health as the top priority and take effective measures to curb the spread of the virus, he said.

Xi ordered all-out efforts to treat patients, identify the causes of the virus infection and spread at an earlier date, strengthen monitoring and standardize treatment procedures.

Xi spoke of the need for the timely release of information and the deepening of international cooperation.

He also stressed the necessity of informing the public of relevant policies to safeguard social stability and ensure people have a peaceful and auspicious Chinese New Year festival.

Premier Li Keqiang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also instructed related government departments and localities to improve response plans and spare no effort in prevention and control in this regard.

He also demanded better communication and coordination with the World Health Organization, related countries, as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to join efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

A State Council joint task force on Monday held a teleconference to make an overall arrangement for prevention and control of the virus outbreak. The National Health Commission has set up a leading group to cope with the situation and give guidance in local response efforts. 

People-to-people transmission confirmed

A high-level expert team of the National Health Commission on Monday confirmed people-to-people transmission of the coronavirus and infection of medical staff.

Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory expert and head of the team, said two cases in Guangdong province were confirmed to be people-to-people transmission.

Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the outbreak of the new coronavirus can be reversed if measures are taken now. 

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