Chinese health authorities hold video meeting with WHO on epidemic situation
Published: Jan 12, 2023 02:21 AM
World Health Organization headquarters office building in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 18, 2020 Photo: VCG

World Health Organization headquarters office building in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 18, 2020 File Photo: VCG

Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday held a meeting via video link to further discuss the latest situation in epidemic prevention and control and medical treatment in China, the latest move to strengthen technical communication on the epidemic, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).

The two sides discussed clinical treatment, monitoring of virus mutation and vaccination strategies, and agreed to maintain communication between experts on technical issues, said the commission. Health officials and experts including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) specialists attended the meeting.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said at a previous press briefing that China has carried out close cooperation with the WHO over the years. Preliminary figures show that since COVID-19 was first reported, the two sides have had over 60 technical exchanges on COVID containment, treatment, vaccine research and development and origin-tracing, according to Mao.

On January 5, at the invitation of the WHO, China sent experts to the WHO member states briefing, where they explained China's response measures, monitoring of mutations, vaccination and clinical care, and had active interactions with other member states, said the spokesperson.

Responding to Western concerns about whether China's adjustment of COVID-19 policy would have an impact on the world and the transparency of figures on the death toll, Liang Wannian, head of China's COVID-19 response expert panel under the NHC, said on Wednesday that China has reported all the variants that it has detected to the WHO and will continue to shoulder responsibility in tracking new variants.

"We have curbed this round of the outbreak, fully reflecting on the resilience of China's healthcare system," Liang said at an event on public health in Beijing, the Global Times learned on Wednesday.

"I don't see there's a major difference between the variant circulating in China and those circulating outside China," said Leo Poon Lit-man of the University of Hong Kong, who is also an expert in various WHO Working Groups for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses.

The WHO said it saw more data on sequencing being uploaded by China and increased engagement with the WHO in recent weeks. China stands ready to step up cooperation with the WHO and the rest of the world to tackle the COVID challenge more effectively and better protect people's lives and health, said the Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

Global Times