Wuhan calls on public to stockpile emergency materials, drawing on lessons from early stages of epidemic
Published: Jan 03, 2021 07:15 PM

Masks are on display at the 2nd World Health Expo, which kicked off on Wednesday in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. The expo this year focuses on the development of the health industry amid global pandemic. Photo: VCG

Central China's Wuhan, where the COVID-19 epidemic first broke out, has released a list of emergency materials that Chinese families should stock, and called on the public to make preparations in the event that another serious outbreak occurs.

Mobilizing citizens to stockpile supplies in an emergency is a lesson that China has learned from the COVID-19 epidemic, experts said. When the outbreak engulfed the country in early 2020, there was a chaotic period during which Chinese cities scrambled to secure anti-epidemic materials.

The list of emergency materials released by the Wuhan Emergency Management Bureau covers three major categories - daily basic necessities, first aid products and medical emergency supplies.

It recommends that citizens stock up on anti-infection and flu medicines as well as masks.

The epidemic reminds us of our country's shortcomings in emergency supply production and stockpiling, Xue Lan, a professor and former dean at the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Drawing from this lesson, China is building a system of material storage for emergencies, and household stockpiles are an essential part of that effort, experts said. 

The building of such a response system would not only meet the basic needs of ordinary families in the COVID-19 epidemic, but also natural disasters and major accidents, according to Wang Hongwei, a professor at Renmin University of China's School of Public Administration and Policy. 

When the epidemic first broke out in Wuhan, Hubei Province in early 2020, it soon engulfed other cities, and China went through a period of shortages of medical supplies such as masks.

In February, Chinese central authorities stressed the importance of increasing the production and supply of key medical prevention and control materials, strengthening the deployment of medical personnel and developing drugs against the novel coronavirus.