NIA Strengthens Screening to Precisely Prevent and Control Imported Cases from Abroad
The Joint Mechanism of the State Council in Response to Epidemic Prevention and Control held a press conference to introduce the situation on preventing and controlling of imported COVID-19 cases in accordance with law in the afternoon of March 16. Liu Haitao, director general of the Department of Frontier Inspection and Management of the National Immigration Administration (NIA), attended the press conference and responded to relevant questions.
Q: What measures has NIA taken to prevent the importation of COVID-19 cases? What are the practices in providing information and data support for local governments and other authorities?
In order to prevent promptly and effectively the risk of importation of COVID-19 cases, NIA, through the established joint prevention and control mechanism at ports, pushes information on exit-entry travelers in a timely and active manner to relevant authorities such as customs and quarantine departments as well as local government authorities. NIA has worked with departments concerned to intensify screening and investigation for precise epidemic prevention and control by keeping alignment with "prior confirmation at three stages" and "sharing updated data via three channels".
"Prior confirmation at three stages" specifically means confirming the information of international flight passengers before their boarding, after their take-off and prior to their arrival. That is to collect and check the changing data of inbound flight passengers at the three stages to screen high-risk personnel from most-hit countries through big data analysis.
Before the arrival of the flights, the screening results will be shared with port customs and quarantine departments, providing advance and comprehensive information support for the full inspection or special attention and treatment for inbound travelers. The departments concerned will be informed in advance and process quarantine formalities for identified personnel from most-stricken countries and regions.
"Sharing updated data via three channels" specifically means that NIA pushes and shares the latest information and screening results via three channels on a daily basis.
First, information about inbound personnel at ports nationwide is notified to the joint mechanism in response to epidemic prevention and control of all localities. A total of 1,100,000 pieces of information on exit and entry personnel have been pushed to the customs and health departments. It also helps keep local governments updated on information about locals returning from abroad and thus prepared for targeted epidemic prevention and management.
Second, border inspection authorities meticulously check inbound travelers one by one and make detailed inquiries, and carefully examine passport documents. As a result, we have identified a total of more than 62,000 arriving travelers previously traveling to countries and regions with a severe epidemic situation and promptly notified the customs of the places of entry for focused quarantine.
Third, NIA uses the entry database to screen in-flight close contacts of confirmed cases and highly suspected cases shared by the joint mechanism in response to epidemic prevention and control. NIA has pushed more than 210,000 pieces of information to the local joint mechanisms around the country and provided them with information about the entry of persons for focused prevention and effective control. When the information is shared, data security is ensured and personal privacy is protected in accordance with law.
Q: Since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a "pandemic" on March 11, how many people have entered China daily on average, what is the percentage of foreign nationals, and what are the changes compared to the normal situation in the past?
Since the outbreak, NIA has attached great importance to the analysis and monitoring of the entries and exits. Since the day of March 11 when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a "pandemic", the average daily figure for entry at land, sea and air ports is 120,000, down by over 80 percent over the same period of last year. Specifically, the average daily figure for arrival by international flights is 20,000, while around 10 percent of them are foreign nationals. For their safety and health, residents in Chinese mainland are strongly advised to refrain from going abroad recently and trips to countries facing severe epidemic situation merit special caution.
Notice: This English version is only for reference. To learn more, please refer to the authoritative Chinese version.