24 March 2020
1. As far as we are concerned, we have noted that China is beefing up measures to handle the imported cases. What is the update on that? What are the measures being taken to address this ?
SARS Hospital was reopened on March 13th. We know that the hospital was built about 17 years ago to deal with the SARS crisis. After some renovation, the hospital was put into use. Currently, there are 16,00 beds. So that's pretty spacious to accommodate the new imported cases. Already 600 medical workers, mostly from hospitals in Beijing are sent there to take care of the medical work, expected to increase in the next few weeks or months, we don't know yet. Currently the hospital is being used for inbound passengers for health screening as well as suspected or confirmed cases with mild symptoms. It needed to be treated immediately. Now you have a designated hospital to take care of the passenger from overseas for the health check and the treatment. The move is in response to the latest development, particularly in Beijing. That is growing pressure of the imported cases of coronavirus. It's because about 34 per cent of the new imported cases have landed in Beijing.
2. How bad is the imported cases' impact on the outbreak picture in China ?
How bad the situation is? Let me give you an example or the comparison. For example, March 18th Wednesday, it was the first day China has registered zero growth of infection. That means a complete success of the campaign against coronavirus. So it's the day of celebration. But if you look at the picture, it's 34 per cent of the cases and it's not a small number. Other countries, cities or regions, so they are all imported from overseas. And that's the real challenge. How do you deal with the increasing number of imported cases and then the treatment, the key is to prevent new cases from spreading to other people. And we know that in Beijing, there are 6000-8000 passengers everyday at Beijing International Airport. The challenge is to have the people checked their health, and have the temperature measured and ask them to report the health situation, for some who are with the symptoms, you also need further test, to make sure they are healthy or if they need something for the treatment. So that's really a challenge. A lot of work." (02:00)
3. What are the update on the imported cases and recovery rate ?
The registration of imported cases only started at the end of February. *It's about two weeks already*. We do know that the total number is about 200 cases in Beijing and other parts of the country. I think the real concern is the fear of the authority is that you don't want to miss out any single passenger either with some symptoms or without a symptom but carrying the virus. We know that the virus is highly contagious if you miss out on someone.
Photo Credit - CGTN