Coronavirus in China: Shenzhen makes it easier for people to report health concerns
Press/Media: Press / Media
|Description||The south China city of Shenzhen has drawn up new rules to make it easier and safer for members of the public to report health concerns and possibly prevent future crises like the Covid-19 pandemic.|
The regulations on “public health emergencies” have been approved by the local legislature and have been made available for public consultation.
Their aim is to “provide transparency on future health crises and eradicate rumours and false information”, and will allow people to “safely report health issues through established hotlines”, the Shenzhen Health Commission said on Saturday.
The personal details of anyone who provides such information will remain confidential, it said.
Jiangyu Wang a law professor at City University of Hong Kong, said the move was a “symbolic legitimacy-building effort” after the suspected suppression of people like Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor who was detained by police for alerting members of the local medical community to the possible threat of the then unidentified coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Wang said Shenzhen was “trying to be the first local government to send out a message that the Chinese party-state is willing to listen to people and that they will not be punished” for reporting information.
While there were questions about the robustness of the protection people would receive, it was “a move in the right direction”, he said.
The issue of law enforcement in China was always open to question, Wang said, but the new regulations would at least make it legitimate for the public to report their concerns.
|Media name/outlet||South China Morning Post|
|Degree of recognition||International|
|Duration / Length / Size||2000 words|