Xi urges global co-op in research

BEIJING: As China is fighting a tough war against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Chinese President Xi Jinping has underscored international cooperation in scientific research guided by the vision of a community with a shared future for humanity.
Public health security is a common challenge faced by humanity, and all countries should join hands to cope with it, said Xi during an inspection in Beijing on Monday, calling on countries to share research data and jointly work out response strategies. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has actively cooperated and exchanged information with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries.
According to a WHO-China Joint Mission on the COVID-19, full genome sequences of the new virus were shared with WHO and the international community immediately after the pathogen was identified on Jan. 7.
“The epidemic is a devil. We will not let it hide,” said Xi when meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Beijing on Jan. 28. Chinese researchers have also been actively sharing their latest study results and participating in international cooperation on diagnosis and effective treatments. After receiving the genome sequence of the virus from China, researchers in the United States were able to map the first 3D atomic-scale structure of a key 2019 novel coronavirus protein, making a breakthrough toward developing vaccines, therapeutic antibodies and diagnostics, according to a study published online in the journal Science in February.
“Early data sharing really helps save lives,” said Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist. Noting that the COVID-19 outbreaks have emerged in many countries, Xi on Monday said it is important to step up communication and exchange with the WHO and carry out scientific research cooperation on source tracing, drugs, vaccines, testing and other fields with other countries, especially those hit hard by the virus. The WHO-China joint mission, consisting of 25 experts from eight countries and the WHO, conducted a nine-day field study trip on COVID-19 last month in China’s capital Beijing and several different provinces including Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak. – Agencies