Prosecutors should push for severe punishment of acts that undermine epidemic prevention and control, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said on Sunday.
The SPP urged all procuratorates to carefully determine the nature of an offender's actions and recommend various punitive measures to ensure that epidemic prevention and control is carried out.
It also released details of some typical cases in which people had hindered the prevention and control of infectious diseases and willfully disseminated false information, both which can lead to criminal charges.
Late last month, a 64-year-old woman left Nanjing, Jiangsu province, where control measures were in place due to an outbreak of COVID-19, and went to Yangzhou, also in Jiangsu, without permission.
She did not report her travel and residence history to the local communities as required, and frequently went to restaurants, shops, clinics, mahjong rooms and farmers' markets in Yangzhou, leading to the spread of COVID-19 in that city. She was detained by Yangzhou police on July 29 on suspicion of hindering the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
Other people had fabricated information about the epidemic and spread it online, which seriously affected epidemic prevention and control and caused a bad social impact.
"Those who undermine orderly epidemic prevention and control and commit a crime will be severely punished by the law, and procuratorates will prosecute them," said Miao Shengming, head of the SPP's First Procuratorial Office.
The SPP aims to help the public understand the current situation, including epidemic prevention and control measures, in order to overcome the epidemic together, Miao said.
New cases have appeared in many parts of China in the past month, with outbreaks having spread to multiple provincial-level regions. Miao said that the prevention and control situation is very serious, but a small number of people were ignoring the requirements for quarantine and truthful reporting, causing serious consequences.
Procuratorates were also asked to publicize legal requirements when dealing with cases to prevent such violations.
Procuratorial organs should also participate in social governance and strengthen communication with government departments to promote prevention and control work and safeguard public health and social interests, Miao said.
Miao also urged people to cooperate with prevention requirements, follow the development of the epidemic through authoritative media and refrain from spreading unconfirmed information online.