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Xi urges joint efforts to fight novel coronavirus

 President says China’s strong measures contribute to international public safety.

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Updated: February 7, 2020

President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that China will continue to work with other countries to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak in an open and transparent manner, and called on countries around the world to abide by the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

Xi made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Thursday evening.

Xi thanked the Saudi king for the firm support of his country for China’s efforts in the fight against the virus, and said the move demonstrates the true friendship and the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Since the start of the outbreak, China has taken the most comprehensive and rigorous measures to combat the contagion, and has launched a people’s war against the virus, Xi said, adding that the prevention and control efforts have produced positive results.

Xi said the strong measures the country has taken not only aim to protect the health of the Chinese people, but also contribute to global public safety.

He expressed the hope that countries around the world will understand and abide by the recommendations made by the WHO on travel and health.

China considers the health and safety of foreigners to be highly important, including those from Saudi Arabia, and will continue to take effective measures to protect their working and living conditions, Xi said.

He said that China will continue to work with other countries, including Saudi Arabia, to effectively deal with the epidemic and jointly-uphold global and regional public health security.

The Saudi king extended his sympathy to China over the epidemic and said his country highly appreciates the strong measures China has taken to deal with the outbreak and is confident that China will win the battle against the contagion.

Saudi Arabia will stand with China whatever happens, the Saudi king said, adding that at a time when China is in difficulties, his country will make all-out efforts to provide support and assistance to China.

Normal production urged

Normal production should be resumed in an orderly manner as China continues to prevent and control the novel coronavirus, a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Thursday decided.

Participants at the meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the outbreak said the production resumption will provide better support for epidemic prevention efforts as well as maintaining normal economic and social order, according to a statement released after the meeting.

As of Wednesday, the accumulated number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus rose to 28,018 on the Chinese mainland, including 563 deaths, with 3,859 people in critical condition. Of those, 19,665 infections and 549 deaths occurred in Hubei province.

The increase of new confirmed cases has remained stable with a low fatality rate in other places in China except Hubei, the meeting said, requiring resources to be allocated in a reasonable way to avoid unnecessary panic.

Companies are encouraged to find ways to decrease the population density in workplaces and adopt shift work operation to ensure full production, the statement said.

Officials will be sent to priority enterprises to urge them operate at full capacity and help to solve problems such as the shortage of machines, labour and finance, it said.

Contingency plans will be made to ensure the supply of coal, electricity, oil and gas in case the intensive resumption of production may lead to their short supply in some regions or periods of time or the surge of prices, the statement said.

The meeting highlighted the need to make targeted efforts in dealing with the outbreak as the novel coronavirus-related epidemic control in Hubei province and especially Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicentre, remain the priorities.

In order to enhance the city’s ability to receive and treat patients, various measures will continue to be adopted in Wuhan to add hospital beds and medical workers from outside will be assigned to the city for help, the statement said.

As for other places in Hubei, specialised hospitals and quarantine sites will be set up to provide more beds for patients, it said.

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