From Thursday midnight, all the communities, villages and work units in Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, would be put under closed management. All 3,574 schools across the city were also closed, with online courses provided. Xi’an residents have been urged not to leave the city unless necessary. According to experts, community transmission has already occurred, and there have been spillover cases. The reported COVID-19 cases have reached a peak in the city.
Since December 9, the number of confirmed cases in Xi’an has exceeded 200. This latest round of epidemic wave came all of a sudden and evolved fast, posing increasing pressure on the city’s epidemic prevention and control as well as governance. Xi’an has a population of 13 million and is also a transportation hub. Bringing the epidemic under control as soon as possible matters not only for Xi’an, but also for epidemic control across the entire country.
What does Xi’an need the most at the moment? The city’s Party committee and government should stay calm and make proper arrangements; what is needed is the general public’s support, compliance with management, and cooperation with epidemic prevention and control policies; frontline staff must shoulder their responsibility to close every loophole while ensuring that people’s daily lives are least disturbed.
As Xi’an hosted China’s 14th National Games in September, its prevention and control policies were supposed to be stricter than those in many other cities. But the virus still broke through the defense, and this has exposed the city’s lack of contingency plans and a relatively weak management. Because of the problems existing in the current epidemic prevention and control, Xi’an has drawn some criticism on the internet. The city is at the most urgent stage to fight the epidemic, but it still needs to take those criticism and suggestions as clues to solve problems and constantly make improvements to respond to people’s concerns. For instance, panic buying in the city is the citizens’ spontaneous act to make preparations, but also an important reminder for the city government to get related follow-up work done. Also, approximately 135,000 students will take the postgraduate entrance exam in Xi’an on Saturday. How to ensure the participation of all the candidates? How to ensure the safety of teachers and test participants? This will test whether anti-epidemic measures are humane and accurate.
The Global Times has learned that problems remain. For example, the health QR code of some local residents cannot load. More specific problems will certainly occur since the city is now under “closed management.” In this process, there will inevitably be complaints and frictions. Local officials must remain sincere and patient while trying their best to improve what is needed according to the demands of the general public. And if some problems cannot be solved temporarily, the officials should communicate with and explain to the public in the best possible way. It was reported that Xi’an has asked all districts and counties to assign medical institutions with conditions for isolation and observation in the treatment of patients with acute and critical illnesses or those who need hemodialysis, tumor radiotherapy, and who would give birth. When the government serves the people with sincerity, it is believed that people can sense it.
More than 60,000 officials in Xi’an have gone to the front line to form a massive prevention and control mechanism, as well as to strengthen the protection of the basic livelihood of those in need. Strong coordination capabilities and detailed management are required to ensure that COVID-19 prevention measures are carried out well and to effectively safeguard people’s livelihood. This will be a tough battle that must be fought well. Suggestions and criticism from all sides should be treated as an asset to support epidemic prevention and a resource to improve the work. At the same time, people outside Xi’an should try to understand people in the city more and encourage them more.
Chinese society will welcome the New Year and Spring Festival holidays soon. The huge flow of people will bring new tests for the epidemic prevention and control system. The abrupt outbreak of epidemic in Xi’an has also sounded the alarm for other cities. It is particularly important to prevent foreign imports of virus. Only when we do solid work in ordinary times can we cope with an emergency calmly.
-The Daily Mail-Global Times News Exchange Item