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Guideline for COVID-19 prevention and control in agricultural product markets

Updated: Jul 13, 2020 Print
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I. Measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreak in agricultural product markets

Attention should be paid to three aspects: the environment, goods on display and people in the market.

To ensure a safe environment, it is important to:

1. Strengthen daily management. The health of staff working in the market should be closely monitored. Agricultural product markets contain a huge number of goods, requiring management based on their different categories and ensurance that they are kept in a clean and sanitary environment.

2. Improve overall environmental sanitation facilities within a market. It includes good indoor air circulation, proper use of air conditioners, toilets, hand washing facilities and water supply and drainage, garbage collection and vector control.

3. Arrange for specially assigned personnel to work in the public areas of a market, including handling environmental sanitation, goods transportation, and disinfection and cleaning. They should regularly clean and disinfect all the public facilities, especially those that are used frequently such as the surface of door handles, elevator buttons, handrails and scales.

4. Operators in the market should keep their sales areas clean and sanitary, including chopping boards, knives and work clothes. Every operator should do a good job in the environmental sanitation of their own assigned area.

In regard to the goods, it is necessary to establish a traceability system for products. Market initiators and operators should implement the purchase inspection and traceability management regulations required by relevant authorities, and not purchase any kinds of products from sources outside those legally permitted.

People in the market, including both staff and customers, should abide by relevant personal protection measures. Remember to wear masks and gloves, keep hands clean, and maintain safe social distancing of more than 1 meter.

II. What emergency measures should be taken once a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in an agricultural product market?

First, if the traders and staff working in agricultural wholesale markets display symptoms such as a cough or fever, they should immediately report to the market operators, which is of great importance. Then they need to go to hospital as soon as possible, but avoid using public transport, because using public transport when one has a cold or fever is high risk. They should also wear a mask throughout their journey to hospital.

Second, if the person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the market operators should actively work with the relevant authorities to conduct epidemiological investigations, trace the close contacts and handle them with appropriate measures. Once the market operators are aware that there is a confirmed case in their market, they should track the close contacts.

Meanwhile, professional teams from the department of disease control and prevention will disinfect the market in all aspects. The air conditioning system in the market, if it has one, will be disinfected and properly handled. The market can then reopen only if it meets the requirements.

In addition, if a market was closed due to an outbreak, it will be sealed off to people and goods that do not have permission to enter. If absolutely necessary, persons must be approved by the joint epidemic prevention and control mechanism, as required by epidemic control and prevention work.

The market will reopen after it meets the requirements of epidemic control and prevention, and also the needs of the resumption of work, production, and business activities to fully restore local production and people's livelihoods. According to Article 42 of the Law on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, the decision to reopen a market should be made by the office that made the decision to close the market.

Note: The transcript is from the press conference held by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council on July 3. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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