Chinese renowned respiratory scientist Zhong Nanshan receives an interview with Xinhua in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, Jan 28, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
Medical experts appealed to Hong Kong people on Wednesday to safeguard national security by remaining vigilant against COVID-19, as this highly infectious disease has posed serious threats to biosecurity — an important aspect of national security.
The experts, including prominent Chinese epidemic control specialist Zhong Nanshan, shared their insights related to national security in pre-recorded videos that were uploaded on a website dedicated to National Security Education Day, marked annually every April 15.
Biosecurity involves the prevention and control of major emerging infectious diseases, and epidemics among animals and plants. China has attached great importance to protecting biosecurity. In late October, the nation started drafting a biosecurity law for inclusion in the country's overall national security system.
Zhong said the importance of biosecurity has been fully demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Zhong, who is one of the medical experts leading the country in the battle against COVID-19, said the outbreak has caused massive disruptions worldwide, halting economic activities and putting people's lives on hold.
As of Wednesday, the coronavirus had infected around 1.9 million people worldwide, and at least one-third of the world's people are living under restrictive measures to contain the outbreak.
Zhong said the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong took swift action in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to bring community infection under control.
But imported cases are beginning to rise, he warned. The patients of all seven of the confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and Wednesday in Hong Kong have a travel history.
The most important task now is to stay vigilant and observe strict preventative measures, Zhong stressed in the video, while reminding Hong Kong residents that they all have a stake in fighting the biosecurity threats.
He said he believes the country will have the final victory in the fight against COVID-19 with joint efforts of the government and the people.
Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee spoke on another video on the SAR's efforts to guard biosecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chan noted that the SAR government has been maintaining close contact with the National Health Commission and World Health Organization to share information and prevention strategies.
She said the government will remain quick to respond, be rigorous in its measures, and open and transparent in policies to tackle the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the government will soon allocate special funds to support medical research in local labs, Chan said.