Emergency system keeping Wuhan safe
On the Monday morning after the Labor Day holiday in May, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport was still busy, with thousands of passengers from home and abroad arriving in and departing the city, which has returned to normal after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
During the five-day holiday, passenger numbers averaged 79,000 a day, up about 9 percent year-on-year, the airport said.
Rush-hour traffic jams have returned to the streets of the city, which is home to more than 10 million people, and its crawfish restaurants are packed at night with diners eager to taste the seasonal delicacy.
Wuhan's public health emergency command system has helped life in the city return to normal.
"Our public health emergency command system plays an important role in regular epidemic prevention and control to ensure the resumption of work and social development," said Zuo Xiuran, the system's technology team leader. "Over 10,000 people work for the system around the clock to safeguard the peaceful life of Wuhan people."
On Jan 20 last year, President Xi Jinping gave important instructions on fighting the novel coronavirus. He emphasized that people's lives and health must come first, and resolute efforts should be taken to stem the spread of the virus.
The system started operation in February last year, Zuo said.
Since then, she and her 100 or so team members have been working day and night to build an antivirus information network to deal with the public health emergency.
It took about a year to upgrade and complete the system, with a total investment of about 100 million yuan ($15.6 million) from special government bonds for COVID-19 control measures, Wuhan's health commission said.
Combining China's antivirus experience and the latest information technology, such as big data, cloud computing, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and 5G, the system can monitor and respond to almost all public health emergencies.
It has four core functions: intelligent risk alert, emergency command and dispatch, coordinated prevention and control, and data analysis.
"In the past, epidemic information was only collected and reported by grassroots medical units. Now, we can have an early warning system in order to reduce the spread of epidemics," said He Zhenyu, deputy director of Wuhan's center for disease control and prevention.
Over 10,000 staff members from the city government all the way down to residential communities use the system through their computers and mobile phones.
It can automatically compare about 5 million pieces of data a day, categorize individuals into four groups according to their health status and send the information to relevant personnel.
"Our daily epidemic prevention and control work is very organized thanks to this system," He said.
Since April last year, when China started to implement regular epidemic prevention and control measures after the virus was curbed in the country, Wuhan has investigated an average of 9,031 pieces of information about public health risks every day thanks to the system, its health commission said.
"Facing the devastating disease, China adheres to the people-centered philosophy of human rights and takes increasing people's sense of gain, happiness and security as the fundamental pursuit of human rights as well as the ultimate goal of state governance," said Zhang Wanhong, a professor at Wuhan University's School of Law and executive director of the Wuhan University Institute for Human Rights Studies.