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Expert: Joining forces key to beating pandemic

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-04-17 09:59
Zhong Nanshan answers questions from a group of 19 foreigners who live in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, April 15, 2020. [Photo/China Daily]

A prominent Chinese expert in respiratory diseases said expansion of international cooperation is an effective way to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.

There is one world and one fight, said Zhong Nanshan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering who shared China's successful experience in battling COVID-19 with more than 10,000 experts and medical workers from around the world via a videoconference on Thursday.

"Maintaining a proper distance and wearing masks comprise the core of controlling the transmission of COVID-19," he said, particularly with imported infections and cases where patients are asymptomatic.

Isolation and quarantine measures also are effective methods to prevent and control the spread of the disease, he said.

In addition, those who have had close contact with patients should be traced and placed under medical observation to help prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in communities, Zhong said.

Traditional Chinese medicine, including Lianhuaqingwen-a medicine shown to be effective against symptoms of COVID-19 in tests-are effective in mild and moderate cases, he said.

Zhong highly praised the central government's role in fighting the novel coronavirus, saying the central government puts people's lives and health first.

The pandemic will be brought under control when affected countries and regions work together and introduce more effective and concrete measures, he said.

Zhong also answered questions from foreign experts, doctors and other medical workers during the videoconference.

Also attending the conference were other senior medical experts and Zhong's colleagues, including He Jianxing, president of Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, and Li Shiyue, vice-president of the institute.

Li said strengthening personal protection is an effective way for healthcare workers to avoid being infected with the disease.

As of Wednesday, 3,109 healthcare workers in China had been infected with the novel coronavirus and 22 had died.

Li said all the infections among healthcare workers happened in the early stages of the epidemic. Since Feb 17, none of the 42,600 healthcare workers in Wuhan, including many that arrived from around the country to assist the Chinese city hardest hit by COVID-19, were infected, he said.

China had reported 82,341 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, including 1,107 patients still hospitalized and 77,892 recovered patients who have been discharged. The country reported 3,342 deaths from the disease as of Wednesday.

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