Stay alert to wear masks even though the level of emergency response is lowered
News / By Chen Shumin / 02 27,2020 16:00:00 / Focus on Hainan

On the afternoon of February 26, at the twenty-first press conference held by the Information Office of Hainan Province, Li Wenxiu, the spokesperson of Hainan headquarters of the COVID-19 prevention and control and Deputy Director of the Provincial Health Commission, Chen Jianhong, spokesman of the Provincial Health Commission replied to social concerns about how the prevention and control work was carried out after the emergency response was lowered to the third level.

I. What are the considerations for Hainan to adjust the public health emergency response from the first level to the third level?

Li Wenxiu: After careful study and judgment by the expert group of Hainan headquarters of the COVID-19 prevention and control and approval by the main leaders, the emergency response level for the prevention and control of the epidemic has been adjusted from the first-level to the third-level, mainly based on the following considerations:

(1) According to the relevant requirements of the prevention and control work of the central government, as the epidemic prevention and control situation continues to improve, eligible provinces should timely lower the response level and implement dynamic adjustment. (2) There has been no community epidemic spread in cities and counties of Hainan Province. At present, the prevention and control strategy in the province is proper, the prevention and control measures are effective, thus, the possibility of community transmission is small. (3) In the past week, there have been only sporadic confirmed cases in the province. Suspected cases and close contacts have also gradually decreased. Significant progress has been made in the prevention and control of epidemic situations in cities and counties. (4) At present, there are more discharged cases than hospitalized cases in the province, and the number of severe cases is gradually decreasing. The medical treatment for newly diagnosed pneumonia is well prepared and the treatment ability basically meets the actual needs.

II. Will the adjustment of emergency response level affect the subsequent prevention and control efforts?

Li Wenxiu: We need to fully understand the difficulties and challenges we confronted currently. First, as a new infectious disease, the novel coronavirus pneumonia is not fully understood, the source of transmission is not yet clear, the transmission channel is not fully mastered, and there is no specific therapeutic drug. Second, due to the recent trend of returning to work and other factors such as the increasing flow of personnel, the possibility can’t be ruled out that there will be a small number of imported cases from communities with reported cases outside Hubei Province. The local epidemic situation will still be relatively concentrated in cities and counties with more reported cases in the previous period, nor will it be ruled out that new epidemic spots will occur. If the prevention and control measures are not in place, the epidemic situation may fluctuate intermittently or even repeatedly in the near future. The work of case discovery, source investigation and close contact tracking will be more complicated. Therefore, we will continue to maintain the working mechanism of epidemic prevention and control according to the hierarchical requirements of different district.

Ⅲ.After adjusting the emergency response level, do people still need to wear masks when traveling?

Chen Jianhong: First, when supermarkets, shopping malls, farmers' markets, gas stations, pharmacies, hotels, guesthouses and other service enterprises are operating in an orderly manner, they should control the flow of people, and the staff should wear masks, take body temperature, disinfect every day and strengthen ventilation. When entering supermarkets and shopping malls, personnel should wear masks and take temperature measurements, and rely on the "Health QR Code” to check their health conditions. The second is to resume the operation and management of taxis, online hailing cars and buses in an orderly manner, and the public transport vehicles and stations should be strictly cleaned, disinfected and well ventilated. When entering the station, personnel should receive temperature monitoring and " Health QR Code " examination, and wear masks when taking public transport. The third is to continue to strengthen publicity and guidance, requiring residents in the whole province to pay attention to personal protection, continue to avoid visiting and gathering, wash hands frequently, wear masks, and seek medical treatment and report to the nearest place in time when discomfort symptoms such as fever, cough and chest tightness occur. Fourth, agricultural production and the operations at outdoor site can be fully released, there people are allowed not to wear masks. Parks, squares and outdoor stadiums can also be opened to the public, but attention should be paid to controlling the flow of people, while personnel need not wear masks.

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