China's National Health Commission and the national administration of disease prevention and control recently held a virtual meeting themed around technical exchange for COVID-19 prevention and control with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The two sides communicated on the current state of the epidemic, medical treatment, acute care and continued vaccination. The two sides agreed to maintain technical exchanges to facilitate an early end of the pandemic.
China has convened multiple meetings with the WHO on technical exchanges less than a month after it optimized its COVID-19 response measures, which mirrors the country's sense of responsibility in coping with global public health crisis.
China follows a science-based approach in preventing and controlling COVID-19 and has been constantly fine-tuning its response measures in light of the evolving situation.
Facing the wide spread of the original strain and the Delta variant, which had high virulence, China took strict measures and earned valuable opportunities for the international community to fight the disease. It has made important contributions to the global COVID-19 fight.
Given the significantly weakened pathogenicity and virulence of the Omicron variant, as well as China's expanded capacity in treatment, testing and vaccination, the country downgraded its management of COVID-19 from Class A to Class B.
This is expected to make COVID-19 response more scientific, targeted and effective, better ensure normal work and life and meet people's demand for medical services, and reduce the impacts from the disease on economic and social development to the fullest extent.
It is generally believed by international personages that China's COVID-19 response is based on its understanding of the laws of how the virus evolves and spreads, and mirrors the country's commitment to seeking truths through scientific approaches.
China places people and their lives in the first place and works to ensure their safety and health to the fullest extent. It always upholds the vision of building a community of common health for mankind to contribute its share to the global fight against COVID-19.
Since the onset of the virus, China has always followed the principle of openness and transparency, maintaining practical communication and cooperation with the WHO and other countries and regions.
In the early days of the pandemic, China raced against the time to identify the pathogen and shared the genome sequences of the virus, which helped other countries and regions to get prepared.
The country also regularly reported its COVID-19 situation to the WHO and relevant countries and regions in a timely and proactive manner.
According to incomplete statistics, China has conducted over 60 technical exchange activities with the WHO since it proposed and established a technical exchange mechanism with the UN health body in January 2020.
In combating COVID-19, China has engaged in international cooperation and launched the largest global emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People's Republic of China, providing hundreds of billions of anti-pandemic items to 153 countries and 15 international organizations.
China was the first country to promise that it would make its COVID-19 vaccines a global public good, the first to support the waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents, and the first to launch cooperation with other developing countries on vaccine production. It has provided more than 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to over 120 countries and international organizations.
Besides, the country has launched over 300 activities on technical exchange for COVID-19 prevention and control with 180 countries and regions, as well as over 10 international organizations, and sent 38 medical teams to 34 countries.
China has made important contributions to narrowing the global immunity gap and promoting global solidarity in fighting COVID-19, demonstrating its admirable sense of responsibility as a major country and winning wide applause from the international community.
A few other countries, in contrast, not only failed to cope with the virus at home, but also stigmatized others using the virus, labeled the virus and politicized origins tracing. They arbitrarily passed the buck and undermined global solidarity in fighting the disease.
Unfortunately, some Western media outlets turned a blind eye to such facts and blatantly defamed China that had made important contributions to the global fight against the virus, groundlessly tarnishing China's optimization of COVID-19 response.
Their practice totally deviates from the professional ethics of journalism, shows no respect to facts or science, and is irresponsible for history.
The WHO recently pointed out that the Omicron variant is so far the most contagious variant of the novel coronavirus. Facing the fast spread of the variant, every country has to take some time to adapt to the situation and constantly optimize its response measures.
The COVID-19 situation in China is within the country's expectation and controllable. Some parts of the country have got over the infection peak and are gradually resuming normal work and life. Relevant departments of China have made science-based evaluation on and made necessary preparations for possible infection peak in other parts of the country. China is confident in ensuring a smooth transition.
Global challenges need to be tackled with global efforts. All parties should make more efforts that help fight the pandemic both at home and globally, so as to remove the shadow of the pandemic as soon as possible.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People's Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)