China's COVID-19 outbreak 'has already ended': infectious disease expert

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/10 13:38:40

China’s COVID-19 outbreak ‘has already ended’: infectious disease expert

 Zhang Wenhong  Photo: Yang Hui/GT

China's COVID-19 outbreak "has already ended," said Zhang Wenhong, a prominent Chinese infectious disease expert and leader of a team of experts fighting COVID-19 in Shanghai. He made his remarks on Thursday, the first day of the 2020 World Artificial Intelligence Conference held in Shanghai.

The coronavirus vaccines and drugs which are under development by Chinese researchers will be made for future use as the outbreak in China has ended, Zhang said.

China now sees sporadic COVID-19 cases. The public should not be overly concerned and should adapt to the new normal by taking preventive measures, Zhang said earlier, writing on his account on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, "We should not take excessive epidemic prevention measures and stop the recovery of the economy and people's livelihoods."

The National Health Commission said on Friday that it had received reports of four new confirmed imported COVID-19 cases in the Chinese mainland on Thursday, all of which were contracted abroad. Beijing reported zero new novel coronavirus cases on Thursday for its fourth consecutive day. The Chinese capital has just encountered a wave of COVID-19 infections in June, with more than 300 cases reported.

However, the situation in most of the world is not optimistic.

"The pandemic is still accelerating," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the Member State Briefing on COVID-19 pandemic evaluation on Thursday, noting that "the virus is not under control. It is getting worse."

More than 11.8 million cases of COVID-19 have now been reported to the WHO, he said, noting that more than 544,000 lives have been lost.

Zhang also said at the WAIC that AI has played a role in assisting the Chinese government in its fight against the virus. A significant amount of community work relied on AI to track and isolate patients during the epidemic, he said.

We need to strengthen our capabilities in data-collecting "from the real world," from healthcare institutions and disease control centers as a precautionary measure, he said.


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