China, one of the world’s powerful economy, admits that COVID-19 hit it hard. The novel virus outbreak exposed “shortcomings” in the national healthcare system. The top official said as well that certain reforms are underway to improve disease prevention and control mechanisms.
The epidemiological situation in China should be under control despite the shortcomings in the public helath system, said Li Bin, deputy director of China’s National Health Commission.
The top health official has made a rare admission when he explained the current situation in that field after coronacrisis. As Straits Times reported, the healthcare system had not been adequately prepared, in fact.
“The novel coronavirus outbreak was a big test that revealed China still has shortcomings in its major epidemic prevention and control system, public health systems and other aspects of responding (to an emergency),” Li told reporters at a press briefing.
China’s health authority will build a “centralised, unified and efficient” leadership system that would allow it to respond more quickly and effectively to any public health crisis in the future, Li said.
Officials were also discussing how to “modernise” the disease control and prevention system by using big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other technologies that will help to predict outbreaks more accurately and enhance preparedness, Li said.
The commission was also considering ways to revise public health laws, strengthen international exchanges and “actively participate in global health governance,” Li added.
Beijing has insisted it has always shared information with the World Health Organisation and other countries in a timely manner.
The comments came after US President Donald Trump ramped up criticism of China this week, saying the virus “could have been stopped in China.”
Although it was the first epicentre of the pandemic, China has not reported any coronavirus related deaths for 24 consecutive days, and the country is gradually reopening schools and urging workers to return to work.