Entrusted by General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, also head of the CPC Central Committee leading group on novel coronavirus prevention and control, visited Wuhan in Central China's Hubei province on Jan 27.
He went to the city to inspect novel coronavirus prevention and control efforts and expressed his sympathy to medical staff who are on the frontline of the battle against the epidemic.
After his arrival, Premier Li went to Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, which accepted the most confirmed and critically ill patients and made a video call to medical staff who are treating patients in the negative pressure intensive care unit (ICU) ward. He also talked with doctors from all over the country and military doctors who are treating patients there.
He said he hoped the doctors could protect themselves while treating patients’ with all-out efforts, which will give confidence to the whole nation.
After learning about the need for stable supplies of materials, such as medical protective gowns, goggles, and the need for more nurses, the Premier urged officials from relevant departments to send more medical staff, especially nurses, and other materials to Wuhan. Patients have the first priority, he added.
He also came to the construction site of Huoshenshan Hospital, which is for the centralized treatment of infected patients, and encouraged the workers to speed up construction.
He said the fight against the epidemic is like putting out a fire and fighting a water disaster, saying the workers are racing against time. After completion, the hospital will become a "safety island" for patients, and will treat all infected patients with all-out efforts, Premier Li said.
He also told workers to protect themselves from being infected.
Premier Li talked with shoppers and encouraged them to increase confidence, while visiting a local supermarket to check commodity supplies and prices.
He said the whole country is the backbone of Wuhan citizens and full of resources, and as long as needs are urgent there, ample materials will be transported through established "green channels" to ensure the full supply and stable price of commodities. Any cases of illegal price rises should be seriously punished according to the law, he added.
Premier also inspected the new biological security-proof laboratory in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Hubei province, and encouraged the staff there to strengthen research on novel coronavirus.
Then he chaired a meeting on epidemic prevention and control work, and deployed work in the next step in scientific and targeted epidemic prevention and control. He said enhancement of Wuhan's epidemic prevention and control could help to increase the confidence of the whole nation, and local requirements have been in progress.
In the next two days, 2,500 medical staff, especially nurses, will be sent to Wuhan, 20,000 pair of protective goggles would arrive on the afternoon of Jan 27, and needed medical protective gowns would be guaranteed through multiple channels, he said.
Whatever Wuhan city needs for the next step, staff, materials or funds, the country will make all efforts to supply it, Premier Li said, urging the leading group at the frontline to do a good job implementing coordination work.
He also required the governments of Wuhan city and Hubei province to assign responsibilities, to do their best to deal with the work of novel coronavirus prevention and control, publish in a timely manner transparent and authoritative information, respond to public concerns and try their best to lower the morbidity and death rates to control the novel coronavirus firmly and effectively.
Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, attended the inspection.