China to strengthen public health legislation, close legal loopholes exposed by COVID-19
Published: Aug 11, 2021 10:14 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

 China plans to strengthen legislation in public health in the next five years, vowing to further plug the legal loopholes exposed amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

Legislation will be strengthened in key fields including public health in the implementation outline of building a law-based society (2021-2025), which was recently released by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.

It proposes to amend and improve laws for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, public health emergency response and frontier health and quarantine, according to the outline.

The epidemic has shown that there are still gaps and weak points in the public health laws, Shen Chunyao, director at the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said in April 2020. 

“We need to formulate a special work plan for legislation and revision to strengthen the legal guarantee for public health, and to actively respond to social concerns,” Shen noted.

China has been improving its legal system for public heath since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020. Amid the epidemic, the top legislator passed China’s first-ever biosafety law in October 2020, which took effect from April 15, and amended the Animal Epidemic Prevention Law in January.

Apart from public health, the government will also strengthen legislation in key fields including national security, scientific and technological innovation, culture and education, ethnic and religious issues, biosafety, ecological civilization, and risk prevention.

Global Times