China has been contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic around the world with its scientific research data and technological achievements.
Chinese experts hold a video conference on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic with their counterparts from Central and Eastern European countries on March 13. (Photo: Xinhua)
On Jan. 11, Chinese researchers isolated the first strain of the novel coronavirus and shared with the World Health Organization (WHO) its complete genome sequence, providing an important foundation for scientists around the world in their virus research, drug screening and vaccine development.
China set up two platforms to share its scientific findings on the virus with the world - the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Resource (2019nCoVR) database under the China National Center for Bioinformation, and a novel coronavirus data sharing and analysis platform under the National Microbiology Data Center.
The 2019nCoVR has provided data services for over 76,000 visitors from 152 countries and regions, and recorded more than 4 million downloads.
The country has also strengthened international cooperation in research and development of vaccines against the virus.
Once the complete genome sequence of the novel coronavirus had been identified, China shared it with the world, in the hope that countries could carry out vaccine research and development quickly, said Xu Nanping, vice minister of the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology, at a recent press conference.
Some Chinese companies are working with their international counterparts using different approaches to develop a vaccine. One Chinese company is working with Inovio in the United States on a DNA vaccine, while another is collaborating with German pharmaceutical company BioNTech on an mRNA vaccine. In addition, another Chinese company is working with British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on a recombinant protein vaccine.
China has also offered technological products, medical teams, solutions and its experience in epidemic control to virus-stricken regions around the world, Xu added.
A batch of test kits for COVID-19 manufactured by Chinese top gene-sequencing provider BGI Genomics arrived in Serbia recently, becoming the first batch of anti-epidemic supplies Serbia received by a foreign country in its fight against COVID-19. The company has received orders for test kits for 1 million people from 70 countries and regions. So far, several kinds of novel coronavirus test kits developed by Chinese companies have won approval to enter the EU market.
Chinese AI vendor Infervision’s InferRead CT Pneumonia software is helping Italy identify potential COVID-19 patients quickly, minimizing the chance of cross-infections. Screening and early diagnosis of COVID-19 patients has become a priority in the hard-hit country. When the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital in Italy asked Infervision Europe for help, Infervision Europe responded to the request quickly and installed the AI system for the hospital.
Meanwhile, Chinese drone maker DJI’s drones are being used for anti-virus missions such as helping enforce lockdown and air delivery in countries including Italy and France. Huawei also donated an AI-enabled infrared thermal imaging system to Argentina, enabling rapid body temperature measurements.
Chinese experts have selflessly shared their country’s experience with the world and exchanged ideas with their foreign peers on various aspects such as treatment of critical cases, controlling hospital infection, and use of medicine via video conferences, winning widespread recognition, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission.