BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) - China's unprecedented measures are working well to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to experts.
A member of a military medical team wears protective gloves in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan, 30, 2020. (Photo by Chen Chen/Xinhua)
Chinese health authorities confirmed 9,692 infected cases by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps by the end of Thursday. A total of 213 people have died of the disease.
In its daily report, the National Health Commission (NHC) said 1,527 patients remained in critical condition, and 15,238 people were suspected of infection as of Thursday. Authorities have discharged 171 people from hospital after recovery.
The nation is currently experiencing a peak period of confirmed cases. With prevention and control measures in place, the number of future infections will be significantly reduced, said Li Lanjuan, a renowned Chinese epidemiologist.
"As of Wednesday, we have isolated five strains of the virus, two of which are very suitable for vaccine development," Li said. "It will take at least three months to prove a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is effective."
The country has taken a series of powerful measures, especially early detection and early isolation. "We have sufficient confidence in preventing a major outbreak or a recurrence as long as the two measures are in place, although we still need to conduct considerable scientific research," said Zhong Nanshan, a renowned Chinese respiratory expert. Zhong is the head of a national team of experts set up for the control and prevention of the novel coronavirus-caused pneumonia and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
In east China's Anhui Province, for instance, besides strong measures in cities, authorities are using loudspeakers to promote knowledge of protection against the novel coronavirus in local dialects in rural areas.
"China's current prevention and control measures are the strictest and are very effective. We are confident that we can effectively contain the epidemic and finally overcome it," said Wu Zunyou, an expert on epidemiology at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far, the number of confirmed cases reported overseas only accounts for less than 1 percent of the total number worldwide, according to Wu.
Wu said the Chinese government is responsible and China's response to the epidemic has been transparent, adding that China is currently enforcing the toughest preventive measures and they are proven effective.
Even though the virus transmits rapidly, up to 80 percent of patients only suffer from minor symptoms, said Ai Yuhang, a medical expert at Central South University in Hunan Province. "We have faith in our ability to treat the patients."
At the frontline in Wuhan, Zhang Dingyu said he sees hope amid the hardship.
"We have testing kits, and we have explored ways for treatment," said Zhang, head of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, one of the city's designated hospitals to admit patients infected with the new virus.
FULL CONFIDENCE, CAPABILITY
China has the confidence and capability to win the fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday.
Hua Chunying made the remarks in a press statement after the World Health Organization (WHO) said the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
"Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese government has been taking the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures with a high sense of responsibility for people's health," Hua said, adding that many of these measures go well beyond the requirements of the International Health Regulations.
"We have the confidence and capability to win this fight against the epidemic," said the spokesperson.
China is confident in and capable of effectively containing the novel coronavirus epidemic, and eventually defeating it, the NHC said in a statement Friday.
The NHC hopes the international community understands and supports China's efforts in preventing and controlling the epidemic and makes concerted efforts with China to contain the epidemic and maintain global health security.
The WHO's decision is understandable, said Zhang Wenhong, who heads a Shanghai medical team to fight the epidemic. "China has taken the most comprehensive and strictest measures, and we are confident of winning the battle against the epidemic."