Recently, the WHO-China joint mission on COVID-19 conducted investigations in Beijing, Guangdong, Sichuan and Wuhan of Hubei. It held a press conference in Beijing on February 24th. Could you introduce the investigations? And what impressed the mission most?
Mr. Liang Wannian, head of Chinese experts on the joint mission, will answer this question.
Thank you. From February 16th to 24th, the 25 experts on the joint mission visited Beijing, Hubei, Guangdong and Sichuan. We went to designated hospitals, Fangcang shelter hospitals, communities, relevant departments, and disease prevention and control centers. And we talked with government officials, epidemic-prevention workers, medical workers, community doctors and residents. All the places we visited left a deep impression on us. We came to know their specific situations. We will release our findings in an investigation report. A few days ago, we held a joint press conference in Beijing, and I think the report will come out soon.
Experts of the joint mission might have developed many distinct feelings and impressions during the nine days of research. I believe what has impressed them most is as follows. First, the COVID-19 is a new infectious disease that spreads fast with many unknown factors. Traditionally speaking, there is no vaccine to prevent it and no specific drug to treat it. The only workable approach seems to be to adapt to it gradually. In this case, the Chinese government has taken decisive measures focusing on the strategy of walling off its spread. Such measures have gained remarkable achievements in the past seven weeks, containing the prevalence of the epidemic, saving hundreds of thousands of lives, and offering a vital first line of defense against the epidemic in the world at large. Therefore, the strategy and decisive measures taken by the Chinese government have proved to be correct and more effective.
Second, with the deepening of epidemic prevention and control and the change in the overall epidemic situation, we should not only adhere to the unified leadership, strategies and requirements but also tailor measures to local conditions rather than taking one-size-fits-all approach in epidemic prevention and control. The experts have learned that it proves targeted, realistic and effective in practice to adopt flexible and tailored local strategies and measures on the basis of scientific evidence-based data and risk assessment results. This has left a deep impression on them.
Third, the experts have deeply realized that the non-pharmacological social interventions in China have gained remarkable achievements primarily due to the wide participation of the people in addition to the resolute decisions taken and leadership of the government, and the efforts made by specialized departments and other groups. It fully embodies the utter altruism in the Chinese people, especially those in Wuhan city and Hubei province, who are united in making concerted efforts. Hence, traditional and classic epidemic control methods together with the superiority of the Chinese system, the wide public participation by the whole population as shown in the Chinese culture, and the application of hi-tech means have created a powerful joint force. This is one of Chinese models and also the experience of China. Thank you.