China reports new coronavirus cases, Xi calls for cutting red tape


Chairing a meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on January 3, President Xi Jinping called for resolute actions in containing the spread of coronavirus, stressing that its outcome directly affects the country’s health, economy, and stability. Urging strict enforcement of orders and prohibitions, the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee also underlined the need to remove unnecessary bureaucratic interference that impedes the fast-tracking of relief and preventive measures against the virus.

President Xi said that all party committees and governments should firmly follow the party’s unified command and anyone found disobeying the orders will be punished. They must give their full attention to the hard-hit areas, he added.Resources for treatment, prevention, and protection must be sent to the front-line areas and priority should be given to the needs of the medical staff and patients, the president said.

Wuhan city in central Hubei Province is the epicenter of the epidemic.

The meeting called for improvement in monitoring the epidemic, identifying patients for treatment and home-based observation for those in close contact with the victims.The coronavirus outbreak is a major test to China’s health system and governance and everyone will learn from this experience, the meeting observed.

New Coronavirus Cases

China has reported 3,887 new cases of coronavirus infection and 65 deaths. The total number of cases on the mainland now rose to 24,324, the National Health Commission said, noting that 490 people have died from the disease so far. The new cases were reported from 31 provincial-level regions, while all deaths were from the Hubei Province, the commission said.On January 4, 431 patients became seriously ill, and 262 people were discharged from hospitals after recovery. The commission said that the condition of 3,219 patients remained serious, while some 23,260 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.It further added that 252,154 infection cases were traced, 185,555 people are underobservation1and 8,457 others were removed from surveillance.On the same day, 18 confirmed cases were reported from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), including one death. In Macao SAR and Taiwan, 10 and 11 people have died so far, respectively.

New Measures

Besides arranging more beds to patients, many hotels, training centers, and other venues were identified to carry out centralized treatment for the suspected coronavirus cases.Patients showing mild symptoms were encouraged to seek help or kept under medical observation. Chinese Premier and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, who heads the group overseeing the relief measures, said new measures are being taken to ensure the adequate supply of medicines and other necessities.

Meanwhile, mobile hospitals and some 2,000 additional medical and nursing staff have been deployed in Hubei to support the operations. The authorities further said that quality doctors would lead the work at the intensive care units and the wards of the hospitals.To improve detection and diagnosis, efforts are being made to shorten the testing period and dispatching of personnel and materials from the control systems to support Wuhan. Qualified third-party institutions will also be allowed to carry out nucleic acid testing, the officials said.