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Interview: Experts say U.S.-China cooperation vitally important for global fight against COVID-19

(Xinhua)    11:04, March 29, 2020

Photo taken on March 27, 2020 shows the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C., the United States. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

The phone conversation between Trump and Xi "is absolutely paramount to finding solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic," says an expert.

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The phone conversation between Chinese and U.S. presidents had sent the message to the world at a critical moment, U.S. experts told Xinhua on Saturday, that U.S.-China cooperation is vitally important in the global fight against COVID-19.

In their phone talks on Friday, the two heads of state agreed to enhance sharing of information and experience on epidemic prevention and control, and accelerate cooperation in scientific research against the disease.

"Such a conversation between the two presidents to enhance the collaboration between China and the United States is absolutely paramount to finding solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic for our two countries, as well as for the world," Kent Pinkerton, professor of the University of California Davis School of Medicine, told Xinhua in an interview.

Pinkerton listed three areas as emphasis for boosting cooperation, which are sharing of scientific breakthroughs to reduce the spread of the coronavirus; sharing methods for the treatment of patients with the most severe symptoms of the infection; and dissemination of new research information through the cooperation of physicians and scientists from both countries.

Robert Schooley, professor of medicine with the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, said control efforts in China have been "extremely successful."

"We need to learn from China about the things that worked well and those that didn't," he told Xinhua.

Schooley said the world could not expect the virus to be eliminated from the human population by epidemiological interventions alone.

"We need to work on vaccines and drugs together and it will be very important to share viral strains so they can be compared side by side," he noted.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 105,573 by 1:00 p.m. Saturday, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Globally, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 622,000, with over 28,000 deaths.

A staff member of the customs of Meilan International Airport checks the temperature of an inbound passenger after arrival in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, March 27, 2020. (Xinhua)

Zhang Zuofeng, professor of epidemiology, and also associate dean for research at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Xinhua the disease has swept 201 countries and regions. Epidemics recognize no national borders or races and are a common enemy of humankind.

U.S.-China cooperation will contribute to finding the initial etiological factors, intermediate hosts, and transmission routes that caused the epidemic, and will help find more efficient solutions to the crisis, develop vaccines and therapies for COVID-19, and improve prevention mechanism of new infectious diseases, Zhang said.

Jiang Zhenying, professor of Barstow College, suggested that front-line medical staff and researchers of both countries to maintain communication through video meetings or seminars, to share experience in COVID-19 prevention and control as well as treatment of patients.

This is not the time to point fingers or to let politics interfere with finding solutions and treatments for the COVID-19 pandemic, Pinkerton said.

"Only through the international cooperation of China and the United States, as well as countries around the world, we can resolve this worldwide crisis," he noted.

Schooley said the joint relationship is more important than ever as the world prepares to recover from this pandemic.

"Trade between China and the United States will be the economic engine that drives the recovery," he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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