By Zhong Sheng
To combat the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic calls for well-coordinated prevention, control and treatment.
China’s epidemic response is universally recognized as an example, as it has ensured that all those in need have been tested, quarantined, hospitalized or treated, and effectively blocked the transmission routes of the virus.
China’s State Council Information Office recently published a white paper titled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action.” The document, systematically summarizes and analyzes China’s experiences and practices, said that the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have always put people’s lives and health first, acted swiftly to fight the virus and provide medical treatment for patients, and adopted the most thorough, rigorous and comprehensive prevention and control measures.
China’s selfless sharing of experiences is also hailed by foreigners, who said the country’s practice will help the world better cope with the epidemic.
China’s well-coordinated prevention, control and treatment came from its centralized and efficient command. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core, China has put in place an efficient system under which the central authorities exercise overall command, while local authorities and all sectors follow the leadership and instructions of the central authorities, perform their respective duties, and cooperate with each other. This highly efficient system has made it possible for China to win its all-out people’s war against the virus. General Secretary Xi Jinping takes charge of Covid-19 response, while government departments have made well-coordinated control efforts and local authorities and other stakeholders have lived up to their responsibilities.
Adjusting response measures in view of the evolving Covid-19 dynamics, China has not only ensured domestic prevention and control, but also actively launched international cooperation to combat the virus. It established a strict system of information release, released information in an open and transparent manner as required by law, effectively responded to public concern and built public consensus. Its experience is something other countries can draw on in their fight against the virus. Foreigners hailed that China’s strong system and effective measures are “rare in the world.”
China’s well-coordinated prevention, control and treatment came from its people who played a role as the mainstay in the COVID-19 response. The country established a tight prevention and control system involving all sectors of society and governments at all levels. By strictly observing the principle of early detection, reporting, quarantine and treatment, and ensuring the patients were hospitalized, treated, tested or quarantined as appropriate, Wuhan carried out two rounds of community-based mass screening of its 4.21 million households, enforced the strictest closure and traffic restrictions on all outbound routes from Wuhan and Hubei, turning communities and villages into strongholds. The World Health Organization believes that China has rolled out the most ambitious, agile and aggressive disease containment effort in history, saying the experience of China is worth learning from for other countries.
China’s well-coordinated prevention, control and treatment came from logical and effective measures and resource integration. China pooled premium resources to treat severe cases, exerted early intervention for patients with mild symptoms, reviewed diagnostic and therapeutic plans and applied effective ones on a broad scale. Besides, it also leveraged the unique strength of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), provided free treatment for patients, and strengthened infection control at medical institutions and ensured personal protection for health workers.
Two hospitals were newly built for treating infectious diseases, and a number of designated and general hospitals were expanded or remodeled. In addition, China repurposed stadiums and exhibition centers into 16 temporary treatment centers. The country enforced quarantine and isolation on a scale never seen before, and mobilized medical resources across the country, and finally achieved an initial victory in the critical battle to secure Wuhan and Hubei.
As of May 31, 2020, 94.3 percent of the confirmed cases had been cured, surpassing the average recovery rate of viral pneumonia. China’s high patient admission and cure rates, as well as the low infection and fatality rates are achieved through arduous efforts and have won respect from the international society. Evidence suggests that the colossal public health efforts of the Chinese government have saved thousands of lives, said The Lancet in an editorial, adding that there are important lessons that presidents and prime ministers can learn from China’s experience.
China’s well-coordinated prevention, control and treatment came from the underpinning role of science and technology. Confronted by COVID-19, a previously unknown virus, China has exploited the pioneering role of science and technology and fully applied the results of scientific and technical innovation in recent years. Top scientific research resources have gathered from around the nation to support virus control. Focusing on the main battlefield of Wuhan and coordinating efforts in the most severely-affected areas and across the rest of the country, China pinpointed key R&D areas for different stages of virus control. The promotion of health QR codes and digital travel records made it easier for the public to guard against infection.
Virologist James Le Duc with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remarked that China’s pandemic response indicated that the country has kept its promise in safeguarding public health security and information transparency, as well as showcased the country’s strength in frontier science. China proved with its practice that science and technology are the sharp blade that humanity wields in the battle against disease, and such battles could not have been won without scientific advances and technological innovation.
At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading around the world, with over 7.1 million confirmed cases, posing severe threats against mankind’s lives and health. China’s sharing of experiences and practices with the world through the white paper will set a reference for and inspire other countries. The insightful of the world have come to realize that as long as they observe China’s pandemic response in an objective and just manner, they will be able to understand that the country’s contribution indeed safeguards the health and wellbeing of the people around the world.
Acting with a keen sense of responsibility to humanity, its people, posterity, and the international community, China composed a paean to the principle of “putting people’s lives first.” China will always uphold the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and work with other countries to make unremitted efforts for an early victory over the global COVID-19 fight.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)
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