China to Plug Gaps in Its Disease Control System
What's new: China's top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has announced a national plan (link in Chinese) to improve the country's capacity for prevention and control of infectious diseases, including building more advanced laboratories to boost testing capabilities and expanding medical facilities designated for infectious disease treatment, in an effort to fill in gaps exposed in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.
What's more: NDRC released the plan on Wednesday, a day ahead of China's top annual political meetings starting on Thursday in Beijing, where national lawmakers are gathering to set policy priorities for the year. The country's response to the Covid-19 outbreak, which first emerged in the city of Wuhan in central Hubei province and spread across the country, is expected to top the agenda.
The plan also directed every provincial government to build up to three bases for major infectious disease treatments, upgrade county-level hospitals and medical equipment, and expand intensive care units (ICU) and convertible inpatient wards. Central government funding and special-purpose local government bonds will be mobilized to support the plan.
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