By Li Chun
BEIJING, Mar. 3-- The ongoing novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outbreak did not cause cases of infection among the military medics and service members, but improved the combat readiness of the Chinese military instead, said a Chinese PLA officer at the Press Conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council on the morning of March 2.
At the press conference, a foreign media correspondent asked that since military barracks are places where many people muster, why there are no cases of coronavirus infection in the PLA military barracks.
In response, Major General Chen Jingyuan, health division director of the Logistic Support Department under the Central Military Commission (CMC), said that in addition to coping with the unified deployment and arrangements of the state, the PLA has further strengthened its own prevention and control measures.
"We have strengthened personnel training on disease response measures, imposed restrictions on unnecessary personnel movements, and canceled unnecessary gatherings,” Chen said, “We also adjusted training and work arrangements correspondingly to keep the troops’ combat readiness."
In response to questions about whether the novel coronavirus outbreak will impact the combat readiness of the Chinese military, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Spokesperson for the MND, said that the Chinese military has always undertaken diversified missions such as rescue and disaster relief and emergency rescue. Those military operations other than war (MOOTW) can comprehensively test the PLA's emergency response capabilities and spur the troops to do better. It is also a practical exercise and actual combat promotion for the PLA in terms of combat readiness.
Senior Colonel Wu Qian also pointed out that during the epidemic prevention and control period, all PLA troops have persisted in combating the epidemic without failing in combat effectiveness, maintained a regular training and living order and good combat readiness, and truly struck a fair balance between outbreak prevention and control and combat training.