Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Notice on Strengthening the Prevention and Control of Imported COVID-19 Cases

Given the surge of coronavirus cases beyond China, the risk of imported cases from overseas is gradually increasing. Attaching great importance to the health of inbound travelers from overseas, Suzhou has been implementing same and equal prevention and control measures for both Chinese citizens and overseas personnel. In order to effectively respond to the risk of imported COVID-19 cases in a timely and effective manner, promote the sound economic and social development of the city and its further opening-up, the followings are hereby notified to strengthen the prevention and control of imported cases from overseas:

I. Tighten up epidemic prevention and control measures for inbound travelers

1. Suzhou has set up transfer service stations for epidemic prevention and control at the air ports of Beijing and Shanghai, as well as Nanjing Lukou International Airport, and Sunan Shuofang International Airport. Inbound travelers who are destined for Suzhou and have travel history of hard-hit countries (regions) will be transferred to Suzhou in a controlled manner and put under 14-day quarantine at designated places by the county-level cities and districts of Suzhou in accordance with the principle of territorial management. In principle, those under quarantine for medical observation should pay the quarantine costs for their own.

2. Inbound travelers who enter China via ports other than the abovementioned ones within 14 days and arrive in Suzhou on their own with travel history of hard-hit country (region) should contact and report to the local community in advance. A timely and truthful report to their employers or communities is mandatory upon their arrival in Suzhou. They will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine for medical observation at designated places starting from the date of their arrival in Suzhou at their own expenses.

3. If any inbound traveler is found to have fever, cough and other symptoms, he/she should be sent to fever clinics immediately. All the close contacts of such persons should be quarantined at designated places for observation. A nucleic acid testing will be performed to persons quarantined at designated places on the day of being quarantined and the day before the quarantine is lifted.

II. Fully implement responsibilities of various entities

4. Based on the postponements of school reopening, universities in Suzhou should take the initiative of contacting foreign students and teachers who are still overseas and informing them not to return before the school restarts officially. As for those who have returned already, their universities must have the relevant information reported and strictly implement epidemic prevention and control measures for them.

5. Hotels and guesthouses should take the responsibility of accommodation registration of inbound travelers, both Chinese and overseas, and timely report the accommodation registration information to public security departments in accordance with the law. They also need to provide related services such as body temperature check and health inquiries for the inbound travelers staying there.

6. Communities/villages should continue to strengthen the epidemic prevention and control efforts, carry out thorough investigation on any addition of inbound travelers, and have their personal information registered, temperature checked, and health condition monitored.

7. Enterprises should investigate on their staff regarding entry or travel history of badly hit countries (regions). Should there be any such cases, they should have the case reported and relevant staff isolated.

8. County-level cities/districts should offer guidance on the epidemic prevention and control for inbound travelers from overseas to grass-roots levels including townships, neighborhoods and communities/villages, so as to avoid oversight or losing control at the lower end.

III. Improve services for epidemic prevention and control

9. Inbound travelers coming to Suzhou should apply for "Suzhou Health Code" or "Jiangsu Health QR Code" in advance (see attached for the QR codes) for health declaration. As for those studying, doing business, working abroad, please take active protective measures in the country (region), and seek medical treatment immediately in case of any suspected symptoms. Contact Chinese embassies or consulates timely in any emergency. Parents and relatives at home can also consult embassies or consulates in relevant regions.

10. Inbound travelers receiving home-based quarantine or quarantine at designated places shall be taken care of in a well-organized and humanistic manner. Differences in religion, diet and customs should be fully respected and practical problems shall be dealt with appropriately. Their daily necessities shall also be guaranteed.

11. For inbound travelers who are found to be infected or suspected of having COVID-19 during their trips to Suzhou from overseas, the medical costs incurred can be covered by the insurance policies if they are China's health insurance participants, or be paid according to contract policies if they've bought commercial insurances. Otherwise, they will have to bear the medical costs out of their own pockets. If the traveler is proved to have difficulty in paying medical bills, the fees can be covered with medical aid according to relevant laws and regulations.

IV. Strictly investigate legal responsibilities

12. Inbound travelers to Suzhou from overseas shall be held accountable for the information they filled in health declarations and travel history statements. If they deliberately conceal their own infections, contacts with the infected or travel history of hard-hit countries (regions), refuse to take medical tests or abide by epidemic prevention and control policies of relevant localities, or commit other violations of the epidemic prevention and control order, they will bear legal responsibility in accordance with the Law of the PRC on Penalties for Administration for Public Security, the Law of the PRC on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, and the Opinions on Further Strengthening Border Health and Quarantine Work and Legally Punishing Criminal Offenses That Impede Border Health and Quarantine, and be blacklisted in the personal credit system. They will also have to bear all expenses for medical treatment if infected or suspected of the coronavirus.

13. Any departments, enterprises or institutions, and relevant sub-districts, communities/villages who deliberately conceal information about inbound travelers from overseas to Suzhou, or fail to fulfill their prevention responsibilities and cause serious results, will be held legally accountable according to applicable laws, disciplines and rules.

Currently, averting imported COVID-19 cases from overseas has become a critical task in the epidemic prevention and control of Suzhou. All county-level cities/districts, units and citizens must remain highly vigilant and further strengthen the people's defense line of joint prevention and control. We shall resolutely prevent the occurrence and spreading of imported cases in Suzhou and consolidate the hard-won epidemic control progress.

Please dial the informant hotline 12345 should there be any violations in the epidemic prevention and control of imported cases.

Annex: Suzhou Health Code, Jiangsu Health QR Code

Suzhou Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Headquarters 

March 17, 2020

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