China will take more measures to guarantee the wellbeing of people affected by the COVID-19 epidemic and those living in hardship during the holidays, the State Council's executive meeting decided on Friday.
The meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, urged enhancing epidemic prevention and control while ensuring people's basic living needs, guaranteeing sufficient market supplies of products such as vegetables, eggs and meat.
Local governments should make related arrangements for migrant workers staying at their workplaces and students staying on campus, while caring for left-behind elderly persons and children, the meeting said.
Efforts should be made to strengthen supervision and prevent the misappropriation of 100 billion yuan (about 15.47 billion U.S. dollars) of aid funding allocated in advance by the central government to guarantee people's wellbeing.
The meeting also urged pushing forward the reform of China's centralized drug procurement, making it a regular and institutionalized practice for reducing people's financial burden of medical treatment.
By the end of last year, China had conducted three rounds of centralized drug procurement, lowering the average price of medicines covered by the procurement by 54 percent and saving more than 53 billion yuan every year.
The country will carry out the fourth round of centralized drug procurement soon, with the coverage of high-value medical consumables expanded, the meeting said.
It also called for reductions in the financial burden on patients, while giving consideration to reasonable profits for enterprises, and promoting product innovation, so as to make the procurement reform benefit patients, enterprises and medical institutions.