Chinese government officials take off masks to boost public confidence

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/21 15:33:26

Photo: Web


Regional government officials in East China's Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, and South China's Hainan Province took the lead in China to declare a victory over the coronavirus pandemic by taking off their masks while attending public events as the outbreak is nearing its end in Chinese mainland.

At a conference with five foreign financial institutions on Friday, Wu Qing, Shanghai vice mayor took of his masks, few minutes after taking the podium, and suggested the attendees follow suit.

"Shanghai should be a very safe place at present as no local cases of infection have been reported   in the past 20 days. Although there are sporadic infections every day, they are all overseas imports," Wu said. "I feel through this event that we are convening today, we can infuse  everyone in the city and the world, with confidence, by taking off our masks."

Regional government officials in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, and Hainan provinces were also seen taking off their masks in well-ventilated rooms during government meetings.  The move came after a new advisory by China's national health commission issued on Tuesday.

According to the advisory, people at home, outdoors, in places without crowds, or in well-ventilated spaces may refrain from wearing masks. 

While in a densely populated place, such as office, shopping mall or restaurant individuals should bring a spare mask and wear it when the distance with other people is less than or equal to one meter.

This unprecedented move of the officials was met with mixed public reactions.

"Now that the number of imported cases is still increasing, it is better to put on the masks," commented a user on Weibo, China's twitter-like microblogging platform.

Others believe it is better to take off masks in due course and these regional officials ushered in confidence in restoring order in life and production by taking the lead.

"Why not take off the masks when the life and production in these places get back on track ?" suggested another internet user online.

The Chinese mainland reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, all imported from overseas.

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