China has stepped up efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Here are the latest developments:
— The city of Huanggang, hard hit by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Central China's Hubei province, will put all residential communities and areas on lockdown as the city upgraded virus prevention and control measures.
— A total of 189 medical teams of 21,569 medical workers had been sent to Central China's Hubei province to help combat the coronavirus disease COVID-19 as of Feb 12, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).
— China's environmental watchdog has mobilized efforts to strengthen the medical waste disposal capacity in Central China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.
— A series of measures have been taken to enhance China's public legal services related to the outbreak of COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Justice.
— China's mask production capacity utilization rate reached 94 percent as of Feb 11 with more enterprises that had suspended operations due to the novel coronavirus outbreak resuming production, an official said Feb 13.
— Huoshenshan Hospital, a makeshift hospital built in Wuhan amid the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) epidemic, on Feb 13 saw its first seven cured patients.
— Two separate research groups led by China's top scientists said they had isolated novel coronavirus strains from samples of an infected patient's feces.
Researchers said the discovery confirmed that the patients' feces contained the live virus, but there is still a lack of sufficient evidence for the existence of fecal-oral transmission.
— Chinese health authorities said that a total of 5,911 patients infected with the novel coronavirus had been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Feb 12, with Feb 12 witnessing 1,171 people walk out of hospital after recovery.
The commission also received reports of 15,152 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 254 deaths on Feb 12 from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
By the end of Feb 12, a total of 1,367 people had died of the disease and 59,804 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in China.
— Hubei announced on Feb 13 a decision to further postpone the resumption of work and school to reduce gatherings of people and block the spread of the epidemic.
All kinds of local enterprises, except those in the sectors such as utilities, medical appliances and drugs, supermarkets and food, shall not resume their work earlier than midnight on Feb 20.
The province also postponed the beginning of the spring semester of all schools until further notice.
— Xishui, in the city of Huanggang, one of the hardest-hit counties in Hubei, has planned to rebuild a hospital in seven days.
The rebuilding began on Feb 11 and an estimated 200 hospital beds will be put into operation within one week.
— Hubei province adopted new methodology and reported 14,840 new cases of the novel coronavirus, including 13,332 clinically diagnosed cases, and 242 deaths, including 135 clinical cases, on Feb 12.
The total confirmed cases in Hubei had reached 48,206 by Feb 12.
The provincial capital Wuhan reported 13,436 new infections and 216 new deaths on Feb 12.
— A total of 2,600 additional medical personnel from the armed forces will be tasked with treating patients in two hospitals in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.
— A State Council joint task force issued a circular to regulate the use of air-conditioning and ventilation systems in offices and public places amid an effort to contain the novel coronavirus. Those facilities should be halted once a suspected or confirmed case of pneumonia caused by the virus is identified there.
— As it advances epidemic control with all-out efforts, China will enhance macro-economic regulation, and step up production, allocation and supply of key materials, to maintain social and economic progress, according to a State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
— Beijing urged pharmacies to carry out real-name registration for customers who buy fever and cough medicine. They are required to register their names, addresses, ID card numbers and contact information, as well as the symptoms.
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