WUHAN, May 1 (Xinhua) — Central China’s Hubei Province will lower its novel coronavirus emergency response level from the highest to the second-highest starting May 2, a local official announced Friday.
Prevention and control measures against the epidemic will also be adjusted following the downgrading of the emergency response level, Yang Yunyan, vice governor of Hubei, said at a press conference.
After more than three months of precise and tight prevention and control, the virus spread is “basically cut off” in Hubei, Yang said.
“The unprecedented emergency measures during the initial phase have basically cut off the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Yang said. “In line with national regulations and the provincial contingency plan, Hubei has basically met the condition to lower the emergency response level.”
The downgrade of the emergency level signifies a major breakthrough in Hubei’s prevention and control work against COVID-19, but it does not mean that Hubei has downgraded its alertness or decreased work intensity against the epidemic, he said.
“We need to prepare to make prevention and control work a new normal for a long period of time,” he said. “We need to perfect our prevention and control work according to the status quo.”
Liu Dongru, with the provincial health commission, said that Hubei will enhance supervision and evaluation in key areas such as medical institutions, schools and shopping malls, to build a complete public health monitoring and alert system.
“Epidemic prevention and control headquarters on the county-level and above need to set up and keep work teams and be on standby 24 hours,” Liu said.
The province will conduct strict management over people entering Hubei from abroad, as well as over asymptomatic cases, Liu added.
Wuhan, the provincial capital and the Chinese city once hard-hit by the novel coronavirus, will strengthen its prevention and control workforce, optimize prevention and control measures, and continue precise prevention and control management over residential communities, said Li Tao, with the Wuhan government.
No new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in Hubei Thursday, the provincial health commission said Friday. This marks that Hubei, the once hardest hit Chinese province, has had no new confirmed COVID-19 cases for 27 consecutive days since April 4.
Meanwhile, in Hubei, the areas outside Wuhan have reported no new confirmed COVID-19 cases for 57 consecutive days.
Hubei was cleared of confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
The province initiated the second-level emergency response on Jan. 22, and upgraded it to the top level on Jan. 24.