A staff checks a passenger's body temperature at an exit of a toll station on a highway in Guizhou, Jan 28, 2020. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
BEIJING - China is mobilizing a nationwide response to prevent and control the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. Measures are rapid, strong and effective, all because they enjoy wide support from the people.
China has taken many unprecedented moves, including extending the Spring Festival holiday, postponing the spring semester of schools and universities, and adopting transport restrictions in various areas. Wuhan, a central Chinese city of 11 million people and the center of the outbreak, has even suspended all of its public transportation, including outbound channels at airports and railway stations.
All these decisions were made quickly, some almost overnight, and were implemented immediately following their announcement.
When the whole nation stands together, with scientific prevention and cures, and precise policies, victory for the people is assured.
Some measures will inconvenience the lives of the people, but authorities have every reason to be decisive, because a national consensus has been fortified: containing the epidemic is of paramount importance, and any difficulties must be overcome in the fight against the virus.
China has many advantages in fighting the current arduous battle: its huge mobilization capacity, higher technology and improved response mechanism. But most importantly, the nation's strength and confidence come from the steadfast practice of the principle that protecting the people's interests is the highest priority.
When people are put first, they can be relied on. In a country of 1.4 billion people, all sectors of society are now on the move.
Doctors and nurses across the country rushed to Wuhan. Civilian and military medical materials have been sent to disease-hit regions and more resources are on the way. Despite the Spring Festival holiday, factories race against time to produce masks and protective clothing.
In Wuhan, constructors have mobilized all the workers left in the city to build two makeshift hospitals to treat pneumonia patients. Round-the-clock construction is underway to make the miracle happen. The two "safety islands" - one with a capacity of 700 to 1,000 beds, and the other with 1,300 to 1,500 beds - will be put into use on Feb 3 and Feb 5, respectively.
Residents also have a role to play. People have postponed their travel plans, staying at home to guard against potential infection. Grassroots communities are fully mobilized in personnel tracking and body temperature monitoring. Online platforms are promoting tips for virus prevention.
All these measures show the sound interaction between the government and the public.
Relying on the people also means being open to the people and respecting their right to know the truth.
The spread of panic can be more dangerous than the spread of the infection itself. Only by being open can panic be minimized. The timely, accurate and authoritative publication of information related to the epidemic is an important method to prevent the spillover of the epidemic.
Authorities have warned that whoever values his own interests more than the interests of the people sins against the Communist Party of China and the people. A health official in Yueyang city in central China's Hunan province has been investigated for untimely reporting of information relating to epidemic prevention, the latest evidence that the redline of information transparency cannot be crossed.
Disease respects no borders. Because of the way it spreads, it takes unified, nationwide efforts to stop it, as China is doing now.
It is a war of the people and by the people. When the whole nation stands together, with scientific prevention and cures, and precise policies, victory for the people is assured.
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