“There are two main task fronts in this battle: one is disease prevention on the front-line, another is research and medical supply,” General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping noted during an inspection tour of two major institutions currently researching the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beijing.
This reveals the intrinsic connection between enhancing development capacity and prevailing over the epidemic with development results.
Risks and challenges test a country’s level and ability of development. Since the onset of the disease, China has promoted epidemic control and advanced economic and social development in a coordinated way. Thanks to all the arduous efforts, the country has made early achievements in preventing and controlling the epidemic as well as resuming normal life and production.
Focusing closely on the “golden key” of development, China has continuously improved its capacity in turning risks into opportunities in times of adversity, and is constructing a solid line of defense in the battle against the epidemic.
“Science and technology are the most powerful weapon in humanity’s battle against diseases,” Xi said. “Mankind can not defeat a major disaster or epidemic without scientific development and technological innovation.”
China’ innovation achievements greatly boost the country’s confidence in the fight. For instance, researches on clinical treatment, medicines, vaccines, testing technology and reagents, virology, etiology, epidemiology and animal models have provided strong scientific support for the epidemic control. Advanced treatments such as convalescent plasma, stem cell and monoclonal antibodies are also making a big difference in treating severe and critically ill patients.
In addition, new technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data have been applied to epidemiological investigation and virus source tracing to help figure out where the virus comes from and how it will develop with better accuracy and screening efficiency.
Continuous improvement of the new technologies achieved amid the epidemic reflects China’s strength in science and technology. No wonder Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), highlighted that China’s prevention approach is “technology-powered and science-driven” after his field trip to the country.
Moreover, development capacity enables the country to better cope with challenges and risks.
The China-developed Beidou satellite navigation system has been applied to hospital construction, material transportation and patrol missions, making epidemic prevention more efficient.
Image-assisted medical diagnosis system greatly reduces the time for evaluating the severity of the disease from hours to seconds, thus lowering medical workers’ risk of getting infected as well as enhancing their work efficiency.
With the bounce in the production of melt-blown nonwovens, a core material for producing masks, the daily output and production capacity of masks nationwide have exceeded 100 million pieces and are expected to increase further.
Unmanned delivery vehicles, cleaning vehicles and sterilizing equipment have also been widely used in the epidemic battle.
The epidemic is a test for China’s development achievements. The rising national strength fully proves that “development is the master key to all problems.”
Both fighting the disease and development call for concerted efforts. So far, over 100 countries have been affected by the COVID-19 disease, and to some extent, public health is also an issue of development.
Recently, the International Monetary Fund has planned to making available about $50 billion through its rapid-disbursing emergency financing facilities for low-income and emerging market countries in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The World Bank Group will also help developing countries strengthen health systems, offer donation and low-interest loans to low-income countries and provide loans for middle-income countries. There is no doubt that development is the foundation for improving the capability to respond to health emergencies.
The WHO reiterated that the world needs to learn from China’s experience of fighting the COVID-19 to strengthen capability of epidemic control.
The key to China’s achievements in epidemic prevention and control not only lies in the strength of the Chinese system and the concerted efforts of the Chinese people, but also in China’s attitude towards development – it takes development as an objective, and also a solution to problems.
Development carries huge significance in both the current epidemic and the future. In an age of shared destiny, the development of countries is interconnected. Only by promoting common development can mankind enhance the capacity of coping with common challenges and ensure our destiny lies in our own hands.
The COVID-19 disease once again reminds us that the world’s development is facing both hopes and challenges. Therefore, all countries must stay united and confident, and work together for common development, so as to consolidate the line of defense for the world, increase the capability of problem solving, and bring tangible benefits to the people across the world.