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Subsidies to front-line community staff, volunteers encouraged

By LI LEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-18 13:47
An inspector tests a resident's temperature during a household survey at the Fozuling B community in Wuhan, Hubei province on Feb 17, 2020. [Photo by Wang Jing/chinadaily.com.cn]

Local governments were encouraged to hand out subsidies to community workers and volunteers working at the front-line of fighting the novel coronavirus, as the country mobilizes grassroots efforts to screen and isolate possible infections.

Local authorities are also encouraged to buy insurance for those working at the community level or at hospitals if the situation allows, and help solve their practical problems, according to a circular jointly released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Health Commission on Tuesday.

The document urged local governments to mobilize all parties to join the control efforts, and said that "grid management" - which divides the city into tiny sections and assigns people to oversee each portion - shall be improved to cut imported infections.

In places where the community force is insufficient, government agencies and affiliated branches should send their employees to support community work, it said.

Provinces and cities with large numbers of migrant workers shall step up screening measures and the returnees shall be registered from door to door and monitored for suspicious cases, the circular said, adding that efforts shall be made to ensure the supply of daily necessities, health service, psychological counseling, social assistance and fire safety.

The circular noted that local authorities should not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach which overlooks special needs. The disadvantaged groups shall receive special attention, including disabled seniors and young children whose families are either in medical isolation or involved in the epidemic containment efforts, as well as the poor and the homeless.

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