Timeline of China releasing information on COVID-19 and advancing international cooperation
A 67-year-old man surnamed Wan and his wife, both previously infected with novel coronavirus, were discharged on Friday from a hospital in Wuhan. A doctor celebrates with the couple in a ward. [Photo by Gao Xiang/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
-- The NHC started to update via its official website and its new media platform the epidemic information of the previous day on a daily basis. It had updated 71 times by March 31. Starting on Feb 3, the English official website of the NHC started releasing epidemic information simultaneously, updating the data for 58 times by March 31.
-- A foreign ministry spokesperson said China will, upon invitation from the WHO, send representatives to attend an International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee meeting.
-- The People's Government of Guangdong Province held a press briefing on the pneumonia outbreak and epidemic prevention and control measures. Zhong Nanshan told the briefing that "since it is known that the virus can be transmitted from people to people, one thing to do is to strictly quarantine patients and track close contacts, which is probably the most important thing,"adding that there has been thus far no targeted and effective drugs against the novel coronavirus.
-- The WHO published a statement on its official website saying on Jan. 20-21, a WHO delegation conducted a field visit to Wuhan to learn about the response to 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and visited the Wuhan Tianhe Airport, Zhongnan hospital, Hubei provincial CDC.
Chinese experts shared with Gauden Galea, the WHO Representative in China, Olowokure Babatunde and other members of the delegation a range of protocols that will be used in developing international guidelines, including case definitions, clinical management, and infection control among others.
-- The China CDC Weekly reported for the first time the epidemiological characteristics of the novel coronavirus, displaying the whole genome sequence of three strains of the virus, in an article titled "Note from the Field: A Novel Coronavirus Genome Identified in a Cluster of Pneumonia Cases - Wuhan, China 2019-2020."
-- Researchers from the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai under the CAS, the Institute of Military Medicine under the Academy of Military Sciences, and the CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences published a paper in the English version of "Science China Life Science,"titled "Evolution of the novel coronavirus from the ongoing Wuhan outbreak and modeling of its spike protein for risk of human transmission,"evaluating the potential human-to-human transmission capacity of the virus, providing scientific theoretical basis for confirming the source and transmission route of infection as soon as possible and formulating prevention and control strategies.
-- Chinese President Xi Jinping talked over phone with French President Emmanuel Macron at request.
Macron said that France supports China in actively dealing with the epidemic and is willing to enhance health cooperation with the Chinese side.
Xi said that since the outbreak, China has taken strict measures in prevention, control and treatment, and has been releasing relevant information to the public and keeping the World Health Organization as well as relevant countries and regions informed in a timely manner.
China is willing to work with the international community to effectively tackle the spread of the disease and maintain global health security, Xi said.
-- Chinese President Xi Jinping talked over phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at request.
Merkel said Germany appreciates China's efforts to respond in a timely manner, stay open and transparent, and actively carry out international cooperation, adding that Germany is willing to provide China with support and assistance.
Xi expressed his gratitude to Germany, stressing that China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Germany, the WHO and the international community.
-- The NHC published the third version of guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia, detailing the use of traditional Chinese medicine in treatment.
-- The State Council Information Office held a press conference about epidemic and the prevention and control work, advising people outside Wuhan not to go to the city in principle and Wuhan residents not to leave the city without special reasons.
-- At the invitation of the WHO, China attended an International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee meeting along with other countries affected by the epidemic. Participating countries, the WHO and experts shared information on the epidemic and conducted scientific research and assessment of the epidemic at the meeting.
-- China's NHC received a notification from the United States saying the first confirmed case had been reported in the United States.
-- The China CDC weekly for the first time reported the epidemiological investigation results of the pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus in Wuhan in an article titled "Note from the Field: An Outbreak of NCIP (2019-nCoV) Infection in China - Wuhan, Hubei Province 2019-2020."
-- Researchers from the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and the Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, posted their sequence analysis of the 2019-nCoV on a medical discussion forum Virological, suggesting the novel coronavirus may have originated in bats rather than snakes.
-- The 2019 Novel Coronavirus Resource (2019nCoVR), a database develop by the China National Center for Bioinformation, was officially launched to release worldwide novel coronavirus genome and information on variation analysis.
-- Wuhan epidemic prevention and control headquarters issued a notice to shut down the city's outbound channels at airports and railway stations starting 10 am on Jan 23.
-- In an emergency notice, the Ministry of Transport demanded other parts of the country suspend the passenger traffic into Wuhan by road or by waterway.
-- The NHC and other five departments jointly issued a statement on preventing the transmission of the novel coronavirus-caused pneumonia via transportation, requiring efforts for health management of vehicles, trains, planes and other means of transport, as well as key places including stations, airports and docks to prevent to the greatest extent the spread of the epidemic.
-- Researchers from WIV under the CAS, Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital and the Hubei Provincial CDC found that the full-length genome sequences of the 2019-nCoV shares 79.5 percent of SARS-CoV sequence, which was published on the bioRxiv preprint platform.
-- Researchers from the Beijing-based China-Japan Friendship Hospital, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital published an article in the Lancet, titled "Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China."
-- WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on social media thanked the Chinese government for its cooperation and transparency, saying that the Chinese government has been successful in isolating and sequencing the virus very quickly and has shared that genetic sequence with the WHO and the international community.
-- The National Microbiology Data Center and the National Pathogen Resources Collection Center jointly established the Novel Coronavirus National Science and Technology Resource Service System, releasing the first electron microscope picture of the virus and strain information.
-- Xinhua News Agency reported that Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chaired a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on the prevention and control of the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, making further study of and new arrangements on issues especially related to the treatment of patients.
The meeting decided to set up a CPC Central Committee leading group for the epidemic response work under the leadership of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
The CPC Central Committee decided to send guidance groups to Hubei Province and other seriously affected areas to enhance the frontline prevention and control work.
-- The NHC unveiled six guidelines on public prevention for general use, tourism, households, public places, public transport and self observation at home.
-- The NHC replied in a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, welcoming the WHO to send a group of international experts to cooperate with China to strengthen epidemic prevention and control.
-- Led by the China CDC, several hospitals and research institutes jointly published a paper, titled "The novel coronavirus carried by Chinese pneumonia patients in 2019,"revealing their finding of a Betacoronavirus that had never been seen before through whole genome sequencing, which became the seventh member of the coronavirus family that infects human.
-- Xinhua News Agency reported that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and head of the leading group of the CPC Central Committee on the response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, presided over the leading group's meeting. The meeting made further epidemic prevention and control arrangements according to instructions by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
-- The State Council Information Office held a press conference to invite the NHC head Ma Xiaowei to brief on the epidemic and introduce the joint prevention and control work.
Ma told the press conference recent clinical results showed that the novel coronavirus has more transmissibility and the epidemic situation is grim and complicated, adding that the country is at a crucial time in the prevention and control of the outbreak.
Ma said that the source of infection is yet to be found and studies are still needed to understand its pathogenicity, adding that the possibility of virus changes over time can't be ruled out.
-- The NHC and relevant departments jointly provided detailed information to the WHO Western Pacific Region on measures taken in Wuhan may restrict international travel, including the suspended operation of city buses, subways and ferries, as well as public health reasons for the above measures.
-- A guidance group, sent by the CPC Central Committee and headed by Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, arrived in Wuhan to guide the epidemic prevention and control work in Hubei Province, repeatedly demanding open and transparent release of epidemic information.
-- The NHC released the fourth version of guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia.
-- Under the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council, a press conference was held in Beijing to give briefings on the development of the community-based prevention measures to curb the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Such press conference has been held every day since Jan 27, releasing updated data on a daily basis, including new confirmed cases, people discharged from hospital, people who had had close contact with infected patients and were discharged from medical observation, severe cases, deaths, suspected cases, people receiving treatment in quarantine, close contacts still under medical observation, accumulative data on the Chinese mainland as well as data reported in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan.
As of March 31, 65 press conferences under the mechanism had been held on a wide range of topics, including the epidemic prevention and control, treatment and scientific research. Officials of 69 departments answered 779 questions raised by Chinese and foreign reporters at the conferences.
-- Head of China's NHC Ma Xiaowei talked over phone with US secretary of health and human services Alex Azar at request, discussing the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
-- Chinese President Xi Jinping met with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Beijing.
"The epidemic is a devil. We will not let it hide,"Xi said, stressing the Chinese government has released information about the epidemic in a timely, open, transparent and responsible manner, actively responded to concerns of all sides, and enhanced cooperation with the international community.
Xi noted that China is ready to work with the WHO as well as the international community to safeguard regional and global public health security.
-- The NHC released the third-edition guidelines on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus pneumonia.
-- Under the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council, a press conference was held in Beijing on details of medical workers sent from other parts of China to Hubei Province to help fight the epidemic.
-- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for foreign embassies and missions in China on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak. The NHC and the foreign ministry briefed on the current situation and China's efforts to prevent and control the epidemic, and answered questions. Foreign diplomats and representatives present made positive comments on the briefing held by the Chinese side, and appreciated the Chinese government's firm and decisive measures in handling the epidemic, as well as the open, transparent and responsible attitude it has shown. They said that they are willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the Chinese side, and cooperate with China in prevention and control efforts to jointly safeguard regional and international health security.
-- Xinhua News Agency reported that Li Keqiang presided over a meeting of the leading group of the CPC Central Committee on the response to the novel coronavirus outbreak to further study the prevention and control of the epidemic, and roll out targeted and enhanced measures to curb the epidemic.
-- Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also head of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, spoke over phone with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo expressed appreciation for China's timely response to US concerns after the epidemic.
-- Under the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council, a press conference was held in Beijing to advise the public on the prevention of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
-- A thesis on the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus by a research team of the WIV of the CAS was formally accepted by the journal Nature.
-- The China CDC published an epidemiological feature analysis of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak in the New England Journal of Medicine.
-- Researchers from the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and WIV under the CAS published an article in the Lancet, titled "Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study", revealing data regarding clinical features and treatment of novel coronavirus patients.
--Researchers from the China CDC published a paper in the Lancet, titled "Genomic characterization and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding,"analyzing 10 genome sequences of 2019-nCoV obtained from nine confirmed patients in Wuhan.
-- Research team of Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the CAS published an article on the bioRxiv preprint platform, revealing research results about drugs by computer-simulated screening.
-- Researchers of the Institute of Automation under the CAS published an article on the medRxiv preprint platform, estimating the development trend of the epidemic based on the daily reported novel coronavirus cases by the China CDC.
-- Under the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council, a press conference was held in Beijing on policies to ensure transportation of anti-epidemic materials in the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.
-- China's NHC notified the US side that American experts are welcomed to join the China-WHO joint mission. The US side responded the same day and expressed their appreciation.
-- The China CDC published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, titled "Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia,"revealing the epidemiological characteristics of the 2019-nCoV on the basis of data collected from the first 425 confirmed cases.
-- Xinhua News Agency reported that Li Keqiang presided over a meeting of the leading group of the CPC Central Committee on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak, making arrangements for the transportation for the post-Spring Festival trips while enhancing the epidemic prevention and control.
-- The NHC released guidelines on gathering patients infected with novel coronavirus that show severe symptoms into designated medical institutions for treatment, in order to minimize the fatality rate and increase the recovery rate.
-- Under the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council , a press conference was held in Beijing on the epidemic prevention and control work concerning major groups and by community organizations.