With the coronavirus outbreak emerging as a global menace claiming over 3,000 lives in China and abroad, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for international cooperation to develop a cure and vaccine to halt the COVID-19 on its tracks.
Public health security is a common challenge faced by the humanity, and all the countries should join hands to cope with it, Xi said during an inspection to research institutes here on Monday, calling on countries to share research data and jointly work out response strategies, official media reported here on Tuesday.
The coronavirus death toll in China on Tuesday climbed to 2,943 with 31 more deaths, even as the deadly disease wreaked havoc globally with the total number of deaths crossing 3,000 and infections surging past 89,000.
Noting that the COVID-19 outbreaks have emerged in many countries, Xi said it is important to step up communication and exchange with the WHO and carry out scientific research cooperation on source tracing, drugs, vaccines, testing and other fields with other countries, especially those hit hard by the virus.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has full genome sequences of the new virus with various countries and permitted a team of experts from the World Health Organisation and other countries to visit the virus hit areas.
Chinese researchers have also been actively sharing their latest study results and participating in international cooperation on diagnosis and effective treatments, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
After receiving the genome sequence of the virus from China, researchers in the United States were able to map the first 3D atomic-scale structure of a key 2019 novel coronavirus protein, making a breakthrough toward developing vaccines, therapeutic antibodies and diagnostics, according to a study published online in the journal Science in February, it said.
The WHO-China joint mission, consisting of 25 experts from eight countries and the WHO, conducted a nine-day field study trip on COVID-19 last month in China's capital Beijing and several different provinces including Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak.
The team made a range of findings on the transmissibility of the virus, the severity of the disease, and the impact of the measures taken.
They offered 22 recommendations on COVID-19 control for affected and unaffected countries, the international community as well as the public.
The Russian government also sent experts to China to work with their Chinese counterparts on epidemic response.
In late February, Jack Ma Foundation announced that it will provide 15 million yuan (around $2.1 million) to support international cooperation on the development of antiviral drugs or antibodies to fight the epidemic.
President Xi also wrote an appreciation letter to Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their grant to promote research to develop a vaccine.