A meeting led by Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday called for flexible work arrangements to help reduce large-scale flows of people that can spread the novel coronavirus, and it reiterated the importance of guiding various sectors to adopt such arrangements.
The meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on coping with the pneumonia-causing virus called for businesses and government-affiliated institutions to avoid peak hours in resuming work and to allow people to work from home after the Spring Festival holiday.
The State Council had already extended the week-long Spring Festival holiday to Monday to reduce crowds. The holiday traditionally sees hundreds of millions of people travel around the country to visit their families.
In addition to its call for flexible working hours, the meeting also underscored the need to ensure people's ability to return to work in a timely manner in areas related to epidemic control, public affairs and any businesses related to the national economy.
Key groups, such as migrant workers, should be guided to return to work in groups after the end of the holiday, a statement released after the meeting said.
It called for local authorities to accurately grasp the supply and demand situation regarding materials for fighting the outbreak, including pharmaceuticals, protective gear and sterilizers. The government must adopt effective measures to support businesses in returning production to full capacity and further boosting it.
The supply of necessities for daily life must be stepped up, with measures to resume operations of key producers of grain, oil, food processing and energy, the statement said.
A green channel for the supply of key materials will be established to prioritize the transport of grain, vegetables and coal for power generation.
The statement also highlighted the need to ensure smooth logistics for wholesalers so that supermarkets can replenish their stocks in a timely manner.
The meeting also highlighted the stark shortages of medical resources in Hubei province and Wuhan, the provincial capital.
It is important to build hospitals and increase beds at a quicker pace and boost support for medical workers, the statement said, adding that the country will send more high-caliber doctors and nurses to support Hubei.
The province's demand for protective masks and gowns will also be made a priority, it said.
As of Saturday, the Chinese mainland had 14,380 confirmed cases of infection from the novel coronavirus, with 304 people dead and another 2,110 in serious condition, according to the National Health Commission.
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