BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- China has always maintained close communication with the World Health Organization (WHO) and shared information and data on the epidemic in a timely, open, and transparent manner according to the law, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.
Spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks at a daily news briefing when answering a relevant question, adding that with China's COVID response policy adjustment, the Chinese side will continue to carry out technical exchanges and other activities with the WHO.
Since COVID began, China has shared information and data with the international community in an open and transparent manner. China shared the genome sequence of the virus at the earliest opportunity, making important contribution to the drug and vaccine research and development in countries around the world, Mao said.
Mao said that China has carried out close cooperation with the WHO over the years, keeping channels open for close communication at three levels with WHO's headquarters, Western Pacific Regional Office and Representative Office in China.
Preliminary figures show that since COVID was first reported, the two sides have had over 60 technical exchanges on COVID containment, treatment, vaccine research and development and origins-tracing, Mao added.
After recently refining its COVID response measures, China has held several technical meetings with the WHO, she said.
On Dec. 9, 2022, China's National Health Commission (NHC) held a special meeting with the WHO Representative Office in China, during which the NHC informed the WHO of the containment and treatment of the disease in China.
On Dec. 30, 2022, China and the WHO held another technical meeting on COVID-19. The two sides exchanged views on the current COVID situation, clinical care, vaccination and other technical issues. Chinese experts shared in detail the background and basis for the policy refinement and provided a comprehensive update on the current situation in China.
On Jan. 3, 2023, China, at the invitation of the WHO, sent experts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to a meeting of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution, where they provided a comprehensive update on the recent developments and COVID variants in China.
On Jan. 5, 2023, the WHO will hold a briefing with member states. China has asked relevant experts to attend the meeting, where they will further inform the WHO of epidemic containment in China in detail and respond to technical issues that are of concern to other parties.
Besides all these, recently China's relevant departments have shared the genome data of the virus from COVID cases in China via the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), Mao added.
Mao said that the WHO has noted on many occasions that the technical meetings between China and the WHO have gone smoothly and produced positive results. The information and data that China shared helped scientists from all countries to learn about the evolution of the virus and strengthened the global science community's confidence in China's COVID response.
At the moment, China's COVID situation is under control. As China adjusts its COVID response policy, it will continue to carry out activities including technical exchanges with the WHO. It is hoped that the WHO Secretariat will take a science-based, objective and just position and play a positive role in addressing the pandemic globally, Mao added. ■