A timely response to COVID-19 outbreak

BEIJING: The COVID-19 pandemic is a major public health emergency that has spread the fastest, caused the most extensive infections and been the hardest to contain since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
With joint efforts of the whole nation, a positive trend in preventing and controlling the epidemic has prevailed in China, while the resumption of production and normal life is quickening.
But the disease poses a “formidable challenge” to global public health security as it has been spreading rapidly in the world. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 had affected more than 200 countries and regions with over 1.13 million confirmed cases by April 5. Virus knows no national borders, and the epidemic distinguishes no races. Only with solidarity and cooperation can the international community prevail over the pandemic and safeguard the common home of humanity.
Upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, China has been timely releasing information on COVID-19 since the onset in an open, transparent and responsible manner, unreservedly sharing with WHO and the international community its experience in epidemic response and medical treatment, and strengthening cooperation on scientific research. It has also provided assistance to all parties to the best of its ability.
Since the outbreak, the Chinese Government has released information about the epidemic in a timely, open, transparent and responsible manner, actively responded to concerns of all sides, and enhanced cooperation with the international community.
On December 30, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission sent out an urgent notification to medical institutions under its jurisdiction about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in the capital city of Hubei Province in central China.
On receiving the report of the outbreak, the National Health Commission (NHC) dispatched a working group and an expert team to Wuhan to guide epidemic response and conduct on-site investigations. One day later, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released its first briefing on the outbreak on its website, confirming 27 cases and warning the public not to go to enclosed public places or gather in large crowds. The residents were also advised to wear face masks when going out. From then on, the commission had released briefings on the outbreak in accordance with the law. The NHC started to provide updates via its official website and its new media platform on a daily basis from January 21.
WHO, relevant countries and regions, as well as China’s Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have been regularly informed about the outbreak since January 3. Starting from that day, China began to inform the U.S. of the outbreak and response measures on a regular basis.
On January 8, when an expert evaluation team from the NHC initially identified a new coronavirus as the cause of the epidemic, heads of Chinese and U.S. centers for disease control and prevention talked over the phone to discuss technical exchanges and cooperation. Starting February 3, the English website of the NHC started to release epidemic information simultaneously. From January 3 to February 3, China gave the U.S. briefings on the epidemic information and control measures 30 times, including sharing with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s project manager in China information about diagnosis and treatment guidelines, prevention and control guidelines, and the link of the novel coronavirus database that China shares with the world in real time.
– The Daily Mail-Beijing Review News exchange item