When COVID-19 is exacerbating around the world, China is injecting strong confidence into the globe by timely sharing scientific data, results, and prevention methods, as well as conducting in-depth cooperation and communication with global countries.
When the virus just hit the country, Chinese scientific personnel, in a sharing spirit, had publicized research data about the disease. On Jan. 11, Chinese scientists isolated novel coronavirus strains and shared the genetic sequence of the virus with the World Health Organization (WHO), laying an important foundation for global experts to conduct drug, vaccine and diagnostic researches. The WHO expressed its appreciation to China for publicizing the genetic sequence.
By sharing the virus strain and genetic sequence, China, to some extent, hopes countries around the world can start vaccine R&D as early as possible, said Xu Nanping, China’s vice minister of science and technology at a recent news conference held by the State Council Information Office.
China has adopted five technological approaches in vaccine development, all of which are open for international cooperation, he introduced.
According to Xu, a Chinese company is working with Inovio in the United States on a DNA vaccine; a Chinese company is cooperating with German pharmaceutical company BioNTech on an mRNA vaccine and a Chinese company is working with British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on a recombinant protein vaccine.
China’s vaccine development pools global strength and will be shared globally, Xu said. Apart from the timely sharing of scientific data, results and prevention methods, China will keep conducting in-depth cooperation with other countries on epidemic prevention and control, treatment, and basic research, in a bid to contribute to the global fight against COVID-19.
A total of 99 journals have been launched on the sharing platform of COVID-19 prevention and control established by China, and 700 thesis and reports have been published. Meanwhile, Chinese scientists released 54 papers on internationally renowned journals such as The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.
High-tech products from China also played an important role in the global efforts to combat the pandemic.
On March 22, novel coronavirus test kits produced by Chinese genome sequencing company BGI Group was sent to Serbia, as the first batch of donation received by the country for COVID-19 control. It is learnt that the company’s test kits have been distributed to over 70 countries and regions, diagnosing more than 1 million individuals worldwide. So far, multiple kinds of Chinese test kits have received qualification for entering the European Union (EU) market. Apart from donation, China has also shipped the products to many EU countries.
Chinese tech giant Huawei donated an infrared temperature scanner system powered by AI and cloud technologies to Argentina under the support from the company’s strategic partners in the country. The system was co-developed by Huawei and its partners, and is able to automatically detect body temperature through AI thermal imagery on the company’s cloud platform, which reduces physical contact and lowers the risk of human-to-human transmission.
Recently, Chinese tech firm Tencent open-sourced the international module in its COVID-19 Mini Program (TH_COVID19_International). The module displays global COVID-19 information with maps and data curves, shows the numbers of the latest confirmed cases, total cases, cured cases, and deaths, and gathers reports of the pandemic from authoritative media agencies. It helps people around the world to acquire real-time situation of the pandemic through their phones.
Zhang Xinmin, director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology noted that China will further its communication with the WHO, enhance scientific cooperation with relevant countries, in particular hit-hard ones, on tracing, drugs, vaccines and testing, and share research data and information, so as to contribute Chinese wisdom and power to the final victory over the virus.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus Resource established by China National Center for Bioinformation has offered data services to 76,000 visitors from 152 countries and regions, and over 4 million documents have been downloaded. A batch of high-level research papers have been publicized by domestic and foreign experts based on the data of the resource base.