CHINA.  Decree No. 17 of 6 December 1991 of the Ministry of Public Health promulgating measures for the implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases. (International Digest of Health Legislation, Vol. 43, No. 2, 1992, pp. 275-6.)

 

            The following are among the principal provisions of this Decree, which implements the Law of 21 February 1989 (effective as of 1 September 1989).

 

            Chapter 1.        General principles (Secs. 1-6).  Under Sec. 2, the State is to accord priority to the prevention of communicable diseases and is to make governments at all levels responsible for including, in socioeconomic development programmes, the objectives of preventing and treating communicable diseases and for organizing cooperation between all services concerned.

 

            Chapter II.       Prevention (Secs. 7-33).           This Chapter includes provisions on:  the development of knowledge on and the formulation of measures for the prevention of communicable diseases (Sec. 7); the control of rodents, insect pests, etc. (Sec. 8); the hygiene of drinking-water, which must conform to the applicable State sanitary standards and be protected against sources of pollution (Secs. 9-10); preventive vaccination, particularly for children of school age (Secs. 11-12); the prevention of the spread of communicable diseases of iatrogenic, nosocomial, or laboratory origin (Secs. 14-15); the storage, handling, and transportation of bacterial and viral pathogens (Secs. 16-17) (Sec. 16 classifies these into three groups); imposition of certain measures (Sec. 18) (this Section lays down that persons who are suffering from or are carriers of the pathogen of an infectious disease (including AIDS) in one of three specified groups are to be subject to isolation and/or treatment measures, as necessary, and may not recommence their activities until they have been certified to be non-contagious by the competent medical care and health care agencies); polluted water (Secs. 21-22); the obligation, on the part of blood banks and units engaged in the manufacture of biological products, to comply with the relevant regulations issued by the administrative services responsible for health attached to the State Council, and to assure the quality of blood and blood products so as to avoid any contamination, particularly by the AIDS virus (Sec. 26); the prevention of the transmission of zoonoses, notably rabies (Secs. 28-29); measures applicable to regions that constitute or may constitute endemic areas (Secs. 30-32); and the indemnification of persons exposed to disease pathogens at their workplace (Sec. 33).

 

            Chapter III.      Reports and notifications in the event of epidemics (Secs. 34-43). This Chapter includes information on the time intervals allotted for the notification of cases or suspected cases of specified communicable diseases, including AIDS, and of carriers of the pathogens of these diseases, the authorities to whom such notifications are to be made, and the reports to be submitted to the specified services.  Sec. 43 lays down that medical staff may not divulge the name, address, and case history of persons suffering from specified diseases (including persons suffering from AIDS or who are infected by HIV) nor the names and addresses of members of their family, without the prior agreement of the administrative services responsible for health attached to governments at the district or higher level.

 

            Chapter IV.      Control (Secs. 44-58). Sec. 45 lays down that control measures in respect of AIDS are to be applied in accordance with the relevant regulations issued by the State Council.  Under Sec. 48, persons in close contact with persons who are suffering from, inter alia, AIDS are required to undergo medical examinations and preventive measures in accordance with the applicable provisions.  Sec. 52 indicates the prevention and control measures to be adopted by specified services in areas in which there has been an outbreak or epidemic of a communicable disease.  Sec. 54 indicates the circumstances in which emergency measures, as provided for in Sec. 25 of the Law, must be taken.  Sec. 55 indicates the procedures for the disposal of the bodies of deceased persons who were suffering (at the time of death) from specified diseases, including AIDS.

 

            Chapter V.       Surveillance (Secs. 59-65).       Secs. 60 and 62, respectively, indicate the functions of inspectors responsible for the surveillance and control of the communicable diseases referred to in Sec. 33 of the Law, and of control officers responsible for the control of the prevention of treatment of the communicable diseases referred to in Sec. 34 of the Law.

 

            Chapter VI.      Penal responsibility (Secs. 66-72).        This Chapter establishes various penalities and other measures to be imposed in the event of contraventions against the provisions laid down in this Decree.

 

            Chapter VII.     Supplementary provisions (Secs. 73-76).          Sec. 73 defines various terms for the purpose of the Law and this Decree.  Sec. 74 empowers the governments of the provinces and autonomous regions, and municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the central government, to issue provisions for the implementation of the Law and this Decree.