Workers and volunteers with red sleeves, loudspeakers, and digital thermometers are combing communities in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, to ensure no confirmed or suspected patients of the deadly virus are left unattended.
A conference on epidemic control on Thursday ordered the city, located in Hubei province of central China, with a population of over 10 million, to make all-out efforts to locate patients confirmed or suspected to be infected with the virus, close contacts of confirmed cases, as well as patients with fever, according to Xinhua news agency.
Once identified, these people must be treated or placed in quarantine in a timely manner, the conference noted, adding that "no family or individual shall be neglected."
City officials also noted that checkpoints should be set up outside every community and apartment building to measure residents' body temperatures, while community workers and volunteers are paying house-to-house visits to conduct checks.
Patients with fever will be escorted to community clinics, which will decide whether they should be quarantined at home or be sent to other isolation areas. The police may also step in if a patient refuses to obey quarantine rules and all persuasion fails, officials said.
Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, on Thursday stressed that the various prevention and control measures must be strictly implemented like in wartime.
According to reports unveiled by the city government, over 20,000 residents are observing at-home quarantine in Wuhan which has been sealed off since late January to contain the spread of the 2019-nCov.
By Thursday, the province of Hubei had 22,112 confirmed cases of the virus, including 11,618 in Wuhan.
Community workers in Wuhan told Xinhua that in response to some residents' fears of close contact during home visits, they are also using telephones and instant messaging apps like WeChat to contact local families.
"Our neighborhood committee held an emergency meeting on Thursday evening and demanded that we do a 'blanket search' to know about the condition of each and every family," said Zhu Xuan, a community worker in the Chang'er Community in Jianghan District.
The death toll due to pneumonia, caused by the new virus outbreak, rose to 813 on Sunday, surpassing the death toll from the SARS epidemic of 2002-03.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)