CCP general secretary Xi Jinping on Wednesday chaired a leadership meeting to study the major tasks in preventing and controlling the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and stabilizing economic and social development.
Before the leadership meeting, Xi inspected two institutes in Beijing on Tuesday. Xi visited the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing, March 2, to learn about the progress on the COVID-19 vaccine and anti-body. He chaired a symposium at the School of Medicine at Tsinghua University.
During the inspection, Xi called for speeding up vaccine research and development while closely tracking the progress of related research overseas to strive for early clinical trial and application of vaccines.
Xinhua said President Xi has underscored international cooperation in scientific research guided by the vision of a community with a shared future for humanity.
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.
A team led by renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan is working with foreign scientists on tracing of the virus source, its transmission routes as well as building of the animal model for experiments, among others.
Researchers in China have found that two different types of the new coronavirus could be causing infections worldwide.
In a preliminary study published Tuesday, scientists at Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai found that a more aggressive type of the new coronavirus had accounted for roughly 70% of analyzed strains, while 30% had been linked to a less aggressive type.
According to a data model offered by WHO’s partner experts, the measures taken by China to contain the flow of the people have slowed the spread the virus by 2 to 3 days in China, and 2 to 3 weeks in other parts of the world. WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward remarked that the draconian measures China imposed a month ago may have saved hundreds of thousands of people from infection.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has been brutal for China and could plunge the country’s economy into its first contraction since the 1970s, according to CNN.
Economic activity sharply declined across the board in February as companies struggled to reopen for business or hire workers during a government-mandated shutdown, according to official and private surveys released in recent days.
Chinese media group Caixin said its purchasing managers index for the sector plummeted to 26.5 last month from a reading of 51.8 the month before — the lowest figure recorded by the survey since it began in 2005. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, rather than growth.
Government authorities have been pushing hard to keep unemployment low, wary of the fallout that could happen otherwise. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said last month that officials are “closely watching the employment issue and will try to prevent massive layoffs.”
WHO confirmed the fast-spreading virus had infected more than 93,000 people worldwide, with at least 3,100 deaths.
The vast majority of those cases have been reported in China.
The New York Times said China’s coronavirus crisis is just beginning.
By Winnie Troppie