Passengers wearing face masks arrive at the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing on Jan 30, 2020. (Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily)
Beijing has equipped commercial buildings with two building chiefs to escalate containment efforts of the novel coronavirus as work resumes.
The measures are among many implemented as millions of people prepare to return to work, senior city officials said on Tuesday.
Large-scale resumption of work and production has not yet started in the capital, but city officials fear that it could create a large population flow, increasing infection risk.
Meanwhile, efforts to curb imported cases have been enhanced.
All people entering China through Beijing who have been to neighboring countries with serious epidemic situations should be isolated at home or placed under quarantine for 14 days, said Gao Xiaojun, spokesman of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission.
Li Sufang, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, said on Monday that since the service sector makes up more than 80 percent of Beijing's GDP, commercial buildings and office spaces are concentrated in various areas of the city.
"Those buildings should be a focus for the next step in epidemic prevention and control," she said, adding that flexible work mechanisms－such as working from home or having employees with the same job responsibility work in shifts at the office－should be adopted.
Apart from each commercial building in Beijing having one building chief in charge of property management, security and cleaning maintenance, an official from the subdistrict office will also be appointed to oversee daily sterilization as part of improved epidemic prevention measures, according to Li.
Xu Daichuan, vice-general manager of Beijing Yintai Property Co in Chaoyang district and building chief of Yintai Center Tower C, said more than half the 50-plus companies in the tower had resumed operation by Sunday, and about 400 people enter and exit the building every day.
He said he had felt burdened by the epidemic prevention measures, but the "double building chiefs" system has relieved him.
"Previously, the cleaners in the building hadn't had any professional training on sterilization and epidemic control, but now all staff have the knowledge and skills to conduct complete disinfections," he said.
The capital's lawmaking body on Wednesday also discussed a draft law to improve the city's property management in communities and neighborhoods.
Property management companies should actively implement emergency plans and formulate detailed measures when emergencies occur, according to the draft regulation submitted to the Standing Committee of the Beijing People's Congress for second revision on Wednesday.
Due to the outbreak, the committee decided to add one item to the draft law saying that the subdistrict office and county government should guide property managers to carry out emergency plans, said Wang Rongmei, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Beijing People's Congress.
The capital also adopted some humanitarian measures, including opening 24 institutions to provide temporary care for the elderly, who are more susceptible to infectious diseases and have a higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus pneumonia, according to the daily epidemic control and prevention meeting, as reported by Beijing Daily.
In another development, the Beijing CDC specified on Wednesday that if a patient infected with the virus comes down with a fever outside of the capital before arriving, the confirmed case will not be reported as one of the capital's. Instead, it will be considered one of the confirmed cases from that patient's residential address.