NE China's Jilin city to gradually resume work, life routines after it clears COVID-19 in communities
Published: Apr 10, 2022 09:42 PM
A farmer works in the field during the spring planting season in Shulan city, Jilin Province on April 24, 2021. Photo: VCG

A farmer works in the field during the spring planting season in Shulan city, Jilin Province on April 24, 2021. Photo: VCG

The city of Jilin in Northeast China's Jilin Province will gradually resume work and life routines on condition of secure epidemic prevention, said local officials on Sunday, after the city achieved zero-COVID status at the community level on Friday.

Jilin city (namesake of the province) will promote work resumption, restore transportation and prepare for the reopening of schools in an orderly manner based on the health risks in different regions, Zhang Baozong, a senior official of the Jilin provincial government, said at a press briefing on Sunday. 

Zhang said the reopening of life-necessities providers and timely spring farming are high priorities, emphasizing guarantees for spring-season agricultural activities, including financial support, transportation, electricity supply and fuel for farm machinery, to make sure the planting process won't be delayed, and all farmers and all their lands will be covered.

According to Zhang, 95.25 percent and 83.19 percent of the farm households across the province have received seeds and fertilizers used for spring planting.

The government of Jilin city has set up a "green channel" for agricultural materials transportation and for farmers who were stuck in the city but needed to go back to their villages and towns for spring planting, Zhang Hongliang, a representative with the Changchun Jinyuan Seeds Company, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Despite the "green channels", Zhang said he's worried that certain villages in Jilin city may not allow farmers and agricultural materials to enter for the sake of COVID-19 transmission risks.

He said that the epidemic also created transportation difficulties for fertilizers from neighboring provinces due to a lack of drivers and loaders, since Jilin Province doesn't produce fertilizers itself.

"But the COVID-19 transmission chains in communities have been cut. With the gradual work and production resumption, I believe the situation will get better," he said. 

Jilin city reached zero-COVID status at the community level on Friday based on the comprehensive judgment of national anti-pandemic regulations and results of the latest round of mass nucleic acid testing, which was conducted on Thursday and Friday.

According to Zhao Qinglong, deputy director of the emergency department of the Centers for Disease Control in Jilin Province, "zero-COVID status at the community level" means that all the confirmed or asymptomatic cases had been found among people under quarantine and the transmission risk had been effectively controlled.

But zero-COVID status is not equal to zero transmission risk, Zhang said, adding that the risk can be largely eliminated only when restrictions are lifted from all areas under lockdown and management.

"We still need to implement differentiated anti-pandemic policies in accordance with situations in different areas, gradually bringing people's work and life back to normal," Zhang noted. 

According to the national health commission, Jilin Province reported 242 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 755 asymptomatic cases on Saturday.