Wuhan Lawmaker Proposes Changes to China's Infectious Disease Reporting

Wuhan Lawmaker Proposes Changes to China's Infectious Disease Reporting

A Chinese lawmaker from the region where the coronavirus originated proposed several measures to improve outbreak response time and to remedy reporting flaws exposed by the pandemic. National People's Congress lawmakers began their annual legislative session Friday discussing how to help local businesses, but also laid out how to prevent future infectious diseases from spreading so rapidly. Zhou Hongyu, a National People's Congress deputy from Wuhan, proposed several amendments aimed at speeding up response time in one of the Chinese government's first official acknowledgements of failure to initially control the epidemic last December. Zhou, who is vice president of Central China Normal University, demanded measures for timely reporting and public disclosures. "The response to the epidemic this time has exposed several shortcomings of the relevant infectious disease prevention and response systems. Amendments to and improvement of the infectious disease law need to be on the agenda," the state-run media report outlet ThePaper.cn quoted him as saying. Zhou this week introduced nearly 29 amendments and proposals, which seek to prepare China for a major public health event and to continue supporting the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Among the changes, Zhou called for integrating disease control systems with health care providers, and to clarify the responsibility specific government agencies have in dealing with a potential outbreak. "When new infectious diseases appear, disease control and epidemiological organisations can intervene early and quickly lock into the source of infection, determine the transmission route and set up prevention measures based on data collected from infectious ...
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