2021-01-26 17:31


Patients' Personal Information Excluded while Reporting Cases

[Photo/Global Times]

To protect individual privacy, the local health authorities in Beijing and Shanghai have released the COVID-19 epidemiological surveys without the gender, age, and other personal information of confirmed patients, only publishing information about the areas and locations where they had visited, a move widely praised by Chinese netizens.

Since Saturday, the official reports of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Beijing have been following the policy of "only mentioning the location, not the person".

At the same time, the reports on the areas and sites associated with confirmed cases released by the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission also excluded the work, daily life, and other information of the COVID-19 patients on Saturday.

Many Chinese netizens pointed out it was an efficient way to display effective information and reassure many people's concerns about individual privacy protections in the epidemic prevention and control work.

A typical comment on Sina Weibo reads, "Compared with publicizing the sex, age, and profession of the infected person, which only increases their psychological pressure, this kind of reporting that does not expose privacy is worth advocating." 

According to Xinhua News Agency, at least 10 epidemiological investigation reports have been leaked in Shijiazhuang, Chengdu, Shenyang, Hangzhou, and other cities in China since last November, causing secondary damage to the COVID-19 patients and negatively affecting China's epidemic prevention and control work.

"What was worse than being infected with COVID-19 was that from the moment I received the positive virus test report, my phone didn't stop ringing and my personal information was posted online as if I was a wanted criminal," Zhang, a truck driver from Gaocheng district, Shijiazhuang, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Although the official notice released by the Hebei Provincial Health Commission only revealed Zhang's gender, age, and movement trajectory in the 21 days before diagnosis, posts and videos about his name, ID number, mobile phone number, and license plate number quickly spread to WeChat groups of truckers across the country.

Sun noted that current local authorities in many places have begun to strictly regulate the work content and process of the collector of the epidemiological information. He also called on law enforcement departments to further strictly penalize the violation of individual privacy on the Internet under the pretext of epidemic prevention and control.

Source: Global Times 


COVID-19 Update Jan. 26th.

1. Shanghai: 

+8 imported COVID-19 cases

2. Chinese mainland:

+82 COVID-19 cases, include:

+13 imported COVID-19 cases

+69 confirmed cases: 53 in Heilongjiang, 7 in Jilin, 5 in Hebei, 2 in Beijing, and 2 in Shanghai

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