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  • Medical supplies donated to Piemonte of Italy are loaded up at Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, March 11, 2020.

    Medical supplies donated to Piemonte of Italy are loaded up at Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, March 11, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 12 March 2020
Opinion

China and European countries have been in close communication and cooperation since the outbreak of the epidemic, Geng said. 

China sent Thursday a nine-person medical team to Italy to assist the containment of COVID-19, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

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The expert team departed Shanghai earlier in the day, taking with them intensive care and medical protective equipment to Rome, spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a news briefing.

He added that the two sides had formed a joint expert group made up of officials and experts from the National Health Commission of China, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

"The group held its third video conference Wednesday, exchanging in-depth views on issues including updates on the epidemic situation, prevention and containment measures as well as diagnosis and screening, and agreed to strengthen the sharing of experience and technologies further, to jointly defeat the disease and safeguard regional and global public health," said the spokesperson.

International solidarity and cooperation are crucial in the face of the epidemic, Geng said, adding China is willing to promote further collaboration with the European side in such areas as diagnosis, treatment technology, and research in medicines and vaccines.

Geng cited ancient Roman philosopher Seneca as saying that "we are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden," expressing hope that the international community will win the war against COVID-19 through joint efforts.

Renowned Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan said on Thursday that if most countries act like China, they could bring the global COVID-19 pandemic under control by June.

Last week, Zhong shared COVID-19 management experiences with Anita Simonds, president-elect of European Respiratory Society, via online conference. Experts from Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China, also have shared relevant experiences with doctors from Niguarda Hospital in Milan.

Chinese health authorities said Thursday that the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country is over, hours after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the epidemic a pandemic.

According to the WHO, over 110 countries and regions had reported 118,326 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, including 37,371 cases outside China. 

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