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Global Times

'No best, but better' on public health crisis response: Chinese FM on interim report on WHO COVID-19 response

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Jan 19, 2021 08:42 PM

In response to questions related to an interim report that said China could have done better in January to stop the COVID-19, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said that for China, there is always "no best but better" on a public health crisis response, and every country in the world should strive to do better.

"What I want to address is we should do better, not only China, but also the US, the UK, Japan and any other country, on the public health crisis. There's always no best, only better," Hua told a press conference on Tuesday.

Her comment came after an independent panel interim report said on Monday that China could have applied public health measures more forcefully in January to curb the initial COVID-19 outbreak.

As the first country to raise the global anti-epidemic alarm, even if the information was not comprehensive at that time, China immediately insisted on early detection, early reporting, early isolation, early treatment, which won time for anti-epidemic and reduced infections and deaths, Hua noted. And China's response to the outbreak has been recognized by global scientists and medical experts, and has fully assessed the anti-epidemic work and summed up the experiences and deficiencies, Hua stressed.

If China strives to do better, it does not mean, like some Western media reports said, that China has not done enough, according to the Chinese official. The country has always been sticking to "there's no best, only better," to make improvements in its governance, which has become a major factor for the country's continuous progress, she said.

The facts and the numbers don't lie, and the timeline of China's COVID-19 response is crystal clear, Hua added.

Hua also shared the views of Wu Zunyou, a senior expert from China's CDC, on China's response to the outbreak at the early stage, who told the media previously that authorities made the decision of shutting down the Huanan Seafood Market within a few hours with about 40 cases reported, and only took a week to isolate the virus, which has become a new record for detecting a new infectious disease. From isolating the pathogen to applying diagnostic reagents for clinical diagnosis, it took only a few days, and authorities decisively imposed a full lockdown on Wuhan after three weeks when about 500 cases were reported.

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