Commentary: Sharpen scientific weapon against coronavirus-Xinhua

Commentary: Sharpen scientific weapon against coronavirus

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-03 00:28:00

BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- In the fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), China seeks solutions from science, the most powerful weapon to combat disease. The sooner the breakthroughs are achieved, the more lives will be saved and the faster the victory will arrive.

Since the outbreak, there have been panic, rumors and lies surrounding the coronavirus, testing human conscience, wisdom and belief in science.

The top leadership in China has been emphasizing using science to combat COVID-19. President Xi Jinping on Monday visited two key institutes in Beijing and stressed coordinately advancing scientific research on COVID-19 to provide support for winning the battle against the epidemic.

The move will accelerate science and technology (S&T) development in this regard to better protect the health of 1.4 billion Chinese people and the people of the world.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has put China's scientific preparedness to the test. China adopts its systematic advantage -- the ability to mobilize all the S&T resources -- with a single aim to win.

The government organizes experts in clinical medicine, epidemiology, virology and others to investigate the key characteristics of the virus, its transmission and toxicity. Universities, scientific research centers and enterprises are mobilized to the frontline of research and development of the vaccines and medicines.

Within less than two months, these efforts have paid off. The speed in identifying the virus is record-breaking. China has scaled up its testing capability and has now taken the lead in the development of nucleic acid detection reagents, with the production volume meeting domestic demand. A number of effective medicines, including traditional Chinese medicines, have been selected as treatment therapies. More drugs have been put into clinical trials.

Vaccines are being developed at a rarely-seen speed despite skeptical claims that the development of vaccines takes long periods of time. Chinese experts have the confidence to foresee that as early as from April or May some vaccines could enter clinical trials, or under specific conditions, could be applied for emergency use.

Such achievements demonstrate China's increased capacity to contain epidemic outbreaks and accelerated advancement in breaking S&T bottlenecks in recent years.

It is based on the comprehensive S&T strength, including the increasing investment on research and development, the world's largest team of S&T personnel, fast-growing enterprises and their role as "major players" in innovation, that China has warded off public panic, gained ground in the face of the virus and taken steps forward in an effective and efficient way.

More rays of hope are emerging, but researchers are cautious enough as the fight against the COVID-19 is still at the crucial stage. There is an urgent need to verify the source of the virus, uncover the means of infection and closely track the mutation of the virus.

Much work in the field of medical health needs to speed up in terms of basic research in life science, breakthroughs in core technologies, strategic reserve capacity and high-end medical equipment. All these are challenges not easier than just combatting the coronavirus, but they are worth doing to safeguard the people's life and health.

Public health security is a common challenge faced by human beings, and China's progress is projecting confidence to the world, especially to countries where the epidemic has emerged. With its capability to fight the coronavirus sharpened, China can better shoulder its responsibility to provide more assistance to other countries.