China to ensure safe Spring Festival returning trips amid coronavirus outbreak

Passengers' body temperatures are checked at the exit of Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 2, 2020. Chinese authorities have tightened measures to battle the novel coronavirus epidemic as a growing number of people hit the road and return to work after the Spring Festival holiday. (Photo by Ren Chao/Xinhua)

BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) — China has pledged to ensure safe travels for people returning to work after the Spring Festival holidays amid the novel conoravirus outbreak, authorities said.

China’s railways are to step up prevention and control of infections during the trips, which now include screening at both entrances and exits of all operating railway stations across the country.

Passengers identified with a fever, one of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection, will be put under isolation on the train and delivered to the next station with an observation ward while the train is sterilized and those in close contact with the suspected cases are recorded.

The country’s railways had transported 11,313 tonnes of epidemic control supplies by Saturday evening, with total passenger trips expected at 3 million on Sunday, down 74.4 percent year on year.

Plane trips during the Spring Festival travel rush by Saturday are down 17.1 percent year on year, hit by the extended holidays and the outbreak.  ■