GENEVA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's achievements against COVID-19 have made the world more confident in the prospects of fighting the pandemic, a senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
"In general, China's action against the COVID-19 epidemic has achieved phased victory so far!" Ren Minghui, assistant director-general for Universal Health Coverage/Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases of the WHO, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"When most countries are entangled in striking a balance between work resumption and prevention and control measures, China has basically controlled the epidemic without a vaccine, and successfully resumed work and school," said Ren, adding, "This is a pretty hard-fought result."
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres once said that the Chinese people have made contributions to all mankind by sacrificing their normal lives. In this regard, Ren pointed out that the oriental culture emphasizes public interests, and individual interests can be sacrificed in the face of collective interests.
"That is an important factor for the effectiveness of China's epidemic prevention and control," the WHO official said.
Looking back on China's experience in combating COVID-19, Ren said he believes that China has adhered to the "four anti-epidemic elements" to achieve today's stable situation.
The first is international cooperation. He said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, China has cooperated with the WHO and shared the virus gene sequence with the rest of the world in a timely manner, participated in global scientific research on COVID-19 prevention and control, and provided material assistance and shared experience with other countries.
"That's what a major responsible country should do," Ren noted.
"COVID-19 is a new infectious disease. The more unknowns about the infectious disease, the more international cooperation is needed," he said. "I noticed that Dr. Zhong Nanshan, an academician of (the) Chinese Academy of Engineering, and others have communicated with international experts on the Internet on COVID-19, and Chinese doctors and nurses have also exchanged (their) experience with foreign counterparts."
The second element is "believing in science." Ren said that the Chinese government has believed in basic scientific judgments by public health experts that strict prevention and control measures are key to good results.
The third major element is "one mind," said the WHO official, adding that the Chinese people's concerted action, coordination and national unity in epidemic prevention are crucial to a phased victory.
The fourth one is "health first." Ren observed that the Chinese government put people's health first, which is why they are not in a hurry to restore a normal economic and social order amid the pandemic.
Instead, China put protective measures in place to gradually resume work and school in an orderly manner, so that the country's development will gain lasting momentum, he noted.
"'Health first' is China's overall arrangement. Even at the city or district level, that policy remains the same, which is why China is doing well," he said.
Regarding the current pandemic globally, Ren said it is still in the "stalemate stage." As testing methods become more advanced and therapeutics more specific, the proportion of severely-ill patients and death cases is declining.
Meanwhile, as work is resuming and students return to schools, the number of cases in young people is increasing. The overall situation does not look that good, and countries should not at all let down their guard, the WHO official warned.
The success of China's COVID-19 prevention and control has proved that as long as public health measures are in place, the disease can be effectively controlled without a vaccine even in the autumn and winter flu season, he added. Enditem