China pandemic control goes rural

Beijing, Jan 13: China is concentrating its pandemic prevention efforts in the rural areas as officials urge people to not travel home for the Lunar New Year festival while the country combats its most serious latest outbreak of COVID-19.
Authorities said Wednesday local clinics and hospitals in villages need to strengthen their vigilance for any new COVID-19 cases, and local governments must take responsibility at every level — from county to town to village.
The government is bracing for the world’s largest annual migration in which hundreds of millions travel home for Lunar New Year break in February, many of them workers from cities going back to their home villages.
“In the period leading up to Lunar New Year, we urge the public that those who do not need to travel, should not travel, and if one must travel, please observe all travel information and try to stagger travel to off-peak times,” Wang Bin, an official with the National Health Commission, told a news conference. “And to do personal protective measures and avoid crowded places with lots of people.”
Meanwhile, millions of people are lining up in freezing temperatures to receive a second round of coronavirus tests in a city south of Beijing that is at the heart of the latest outbreak. (AP)

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