What I want to ask whether you can give us more details on why the number of cases has risen so sharply in recent days? What are the specific new testing measures you bought in? And also can you please comment on whether we have any indications on how serious the virus is compared to SARS or MERS to this point?
This question is very professional. I would like to give the floor to Mr. Gao who can share more specific information with you.
In the previous questions, some media friends referred to the latest monitoring technology, which means, we answered the question in some aspects. Like what I said, in confronting such an epidemic, we need time to learn about it from scratch. Like the model of the coronavirus I mentioned just now, which has been created based on our understanding of similar viruses in the past, signifies the crystallization of our past accumulated knowledge.
As you mentioned, it is a fact that the epidemic is intensifying. Through your questions, you have already given some of the answers. Gaining better knowledge of such a virus is a gradual process for us. And looking back at historical precedents, science is a powerful weapon in our quest to better understand this virus.
As Mr. Li explained to us, when the epidemic first broke out, professional institutes created special work arrangements. This enabled them to quickly identify the new type of coronavirus, decipher its genomic sequence and isolate it. These measures reflect the huge progress made in medical sciences, especially regarding the professionalism of disease prevention and control, since the founding of the People's Republic of China some 70 years ago. As we improve our knowledge of the disease, we know what concerns you most is the differences of this coronavirus from the SARS and MERS. The outbreak of this virus has increased the total number of coronaviruses, which has infected the human race, to seven. Among them, four are weaker than seasonal flus, and are far from being lethal. However, we all know that SARS and MERS are quite severe. For this particular virus, we are still at the phase where we are learning more about it.
So far, it has been confirmed that some medical staff have been infected. Would you please tell us more about this situation? What measures will we adopt to protect those people battling the disease at the forefront and prevent them from contracting it?
The infections of our medical staff have drawn immense concern from the entire nation. The NHC has placed huge importance on this issue. Now let's invite Jiao Yahui, the NHC's deputy director of the medical administration division, to introduce the current situation to you all.
Thank you for your question. Recently, we all saw the WeChat account of the Health Commission in Wuhan confirming that some medical staff were infected with the new-coronavirus related pneumonia. Senior medical experts, such as Mr. Zhong Nanshan, from our commission, spoke on this issue in a press conference, warning that people-to-people transmissions have been emerging, and urging us to be vigilant. Meanwhile, we are very distressed by the fact that medical staff have also been infected. Medical personnel are a high-risk occupation. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, they have been working at the forefront and putting many hours of overtime. They work more than 10 hours in each shift with protection suits and equipment. When leaving the wards after their shift ends, their whole bodies are soaked in sweat. Despite the laborious work, which has affected their personal health, they have insisted on working on the front line. We must pay great homage to them.