The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic is a major public health emergency that has spread the fastest, caused the most extensive infections and been the hardest to contain since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, China has taken the most comprehensive, the strictest and the most thorough prevention and control measures to battle the epidemic. In their tenacious fight against the coronavirus, 1.4 billion Chinese people have pulled together in tough times and paid a tremendous price and sacrificed a lot.
With the joint efforts of the whole nation, the positive trend in preventing and controlling the epidemic in China has been constantly consolidated and expanded, and the restoration of normal production and everyday life has been quickened.
The pandemic has recently been spreading rapidly across the world, posing a formidable challenge to global public health security. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 had affected more than 200 countries and regions with over 1.13 million confirmed cases by April 5, 2020.
Virus knows no national borders, and the epidemic distinguishes no races. Only with solidarity and by cooperation can the international community prevail over the pandemic and safeguard the common homeland of humanity. Upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, China has been timely releasing information on COVID-19 since the onset of the epidemic in an open, transparent and responsible manner, unreservedly sharing with the WHO and the international community its experience in epidemic response and medical treatment, and strengthening cooperation on scientific research. It has also provided assistance to all parties to the best of its ability. All these efforts have been applauded and widely recognized by the international community.
Based on media reports and information from the National Health Commission, scientific research institutions and other departments, Xinhua News Agency sorted out the main facts China has taken in the global joint anti-virus efforts to timely release epidemic information, share prevention and control experience, and advance international exchanges and cooperation on epidemic response.
The following timeline was arranged in chronological order.
Late December 2019
-- The Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in central China's Hubei Province detected cases of pneumonia of unknown cause.
Dec 30, 2019
-- The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an urgent notification to medical institutions under its jurisdiction, ordering efforts to appropriately treat patients with pneumonia of unknown cause.
Dec 31, 2019
-- The National Health Commission (NHC) made arrangements in the wee hours, sending a working group and an expert team to Wuhan to guide epidemic response and conduct on-site investigations.
-- The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released a briefing on its website about the pneumonia outbreak in the city, confirming 27 cases and telling the public not to go to enclosed public places or gather. It suggested wearing face masks when going out.
-- Starting Dec 31, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released briefings on the pneumonia outbreak in accordance with the law.
-- The NHC set up a leading group to determine the emergency response to the epidemic. The group convened meetings on a daily basis since then.
-- The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) received the first batch of samples of four patients from Hubei Province and began pathogen identification.
-- The NHC came up with a set of guidelines on early discovery, early diagnosis and early quarantine for the prevention and control of the viral pneumonia of unknown cause.
-- Starting Jan 3, China has been regularly informing the WHO, relevant countries and regions and China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan about the pneumonia outbreak.
-- China began to inform the United States of the pneumonia outbreak and response measures on a regular basis.
-- The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission updated briefing on its website about the situation of viral pneumonia of unknown cause, reporting a total of 44 cases of viral pneumonia of unknown cause.
-- The NHC organized the China CDC and three other institutions to carry out parallel laboratory testing of the samples for pathogen identification.
-- The NHC and the Health Commission of Hubei Province jointly worked out nine documents on the outbreak, including a trial version of guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of viral pneumonia of unknown cause.