Chinese authorities are strengthening COVID-19 prevention and control measures in nursing homes and mobilizing the community-level response, officials said on Wednesday.
New guidelines have been introduced on preventing and controlling the novel coronavirus infection in nursing homes, subjecting such institutions to more intense controls than general society, said Li Banghua, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), at a press conference.
Li said the guidelines stipulate that health monitoring should be carried out at least twice a day in nursing homes, while nucleic acid or antigen tests must be conducted twice a week, adding that access to medical care services must be guaranteed.
There are more than 40,000 nursing institutions in China, accommodating more than 2.2 million elderly people.
Officials also called for efforts to improve the community response system, highlighting the importance of grassroots governance organizations and community health centers.
New methods should be developed to facilitate the coordination between communities and social organizations, social workers, volunteers, and charities, said Li Jian, another MCA official, adding that more than 90 percent of urban and rural resident committees have set up public health divisions.
To facilitate the swift delivery of medicine to those in need, courier delivery service providers have been asked to handle parcels with medical materials as priority, said Bian Zuodong, an official with the State Post Bureau.