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Xi calls for accelerated vaccine push

President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of medical research on the diagnosis and treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia on Monday.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and Tsinghua University School of Medicine, learning about progress on the vaccine, antibodies, medicine and fast testing kit research and applications.

Xi then chaired a symposium to listen to views and advice from officials and researchers.

The most powerful weapon to fight diseases is science and technology, Xi said, adding that mankind's victory over disasters and epidemics relies on scientific development technological innovation.

He said scientific research on COVID-19 is a major and urgent task, and he required coordinated efforts to speed up such measures.

At the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Xi said science and technology are the key to increase the recovery rate, decrease the fatality rate and finally defeat the disease.

Xi complimented researchers for their contributions and encouraged them to make further efforts in developing a safe and effective vaccine, medicines and a fast testing kit as soon as possible. He told them to enhance collaboration to master more core technologies with independent intellectual property and make greater contributions to the safety and health of the people.

At Tsinghua University School of Medicine, Xi said the prevention and treatment of serious epidemics and major public health risks cannot be slackened.

He instructed relevant departments to improve the national network to monitor epidemics, improve laws and regulations, strengthen the research on cutting-edge technologies, and raise the capacity to deal with major public health incidents.

At the symposium, Xi said that trying to save more patients remains the top priority, and medical research should be integrated with clinical treatment. He urged more coordinated efforts to apply research to clinical treatment, speed up research on medicines and promote the integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicines.

The safety of a vaccine should be a top priority, Xi said. He instructed researchers to speed the development of a vaccine and closely follow vaccine research in other countries to promote clinical trials and application of a vaccine as early as possible.

He required establishment of a national vaccine reserve system and preparations for the possibility of regular prevention and control work.

Xi said new technologies like artificial intelligence and big data should be used to clarify where the virus came from and where it may go. He stressed the importance of psychological health for patients, family members and people in quarantine for a long time.

Xi called serious infectious diseases and biological security risks grave challenges for national security and development as well as for social stability. Biological security should be deemed an important part of national security, Xi said, adding that the country should enhance its disease prevention and control capacity and public health research.

The improper eating of wild animals must be firmly prohibited, he said, adding that the people should lead a civilized, healthy and green life.

Noting that novel coronavirus pneumonia has appeared in many countries, Xi said that China will enhance communication with the World Health Organization, strengthen cooperation with other countries in research on investigation and development of medicines, a vaccine and tests, share scientific information and conduct joint research to find solutions.



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