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China's Anti-pandemic Efforts Benefit the World

2022-03-17 15:03·Science and Technology Daily
by Science and Technology Daily

   China has made significant contributions to the fight against COVID-19. Over two years of round-the-clock R&D by top scientific teams, a lot of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines and medicines have been developed. After sending these products abroad with great feedback received, the Chinese anti-pandemic efforts have finally been recognized.

Before the vaccine was developed, China had already set up plans to help other countries. In September 2020, China announced that five countries in its neighborhood, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, would become the first to receive Chinese vaccines. Since then, China has officially started its COVID vaccine collaboration with many other countries.

In late 2020, due to the low number of its COVID patients, China approved to carry out phase III clinical trials in Brazil, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Russia, Peru, Argentina, Bangladesh, Morocco and other countries. These collaborations not only accelerated the speed of vaccine development, but also ensured that these countries could get access to the COVID vaccine in the early stage of the pandemic. Since then, it has maintained cooperation with more than 40 countries around the world.

In late 2020 and early 2021, the first batch of China's COVID-19 vaccines, including Sinopharm BIBP (COVID-19 Sinopharm 0.5ml) and CoronaVac, were put into markets, making China the first tier to allow mass vaccination. The fast action of vaccination successfully contained the virus spread in China. Combined with the zero-COVID policy (ZCP), the action has saved millions of lives. According to a study by Peking University mathematicians, China could have faced more than 630,000 COVID-19 infections a day if it dropped its ZCP by lifting travel curbs.

According to the latest data released at China's Two Sessions, the country has provided more than 2.1 billion doses of finished vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations.

In addition to disease prevention, China has also worked hard on its treatment. In March 2021, three traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) — Qingfei Paidu Decoction (QFPDD), Huashi Baidu Granule (HSBD) and Xuanfei Baidu Granule (XFBD) — were officially approved for the market, playing a paramount role in fighting COVID-19.

"These three prescriptions are developed through long term's attempt and exploration. They have been evaluated in use and proved to be effective in clinical trials," said Zhang Boli, a Chinese epidemiologist and academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Zhang and his team have done plenty of work on COVID medicines. By optimizing and combining the classic TCM prescriptions and adding experimentally effective Chinese medicine components, the new TCM for COVID was developed. According to the result of tests, the medicine can markedly improve symptoms, reduce the rate of weight conversion, promote nucleic acid conversion to negative and reduce sequelae. Therefore, the entire process is considered as a way to quickly screen and evaluate new drugs developed.

The role of TCM in the treatment of COVID-19 has also been recognized overseas. A paper published by Dove Press confirmed the effectiveness of COVID-19 TCM. It was suggested that SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV are similar in gene, pathological process and epidemiology. Thus, they can be applied in TCM treatment. Evidence on the use of TCM for the treatment of SARS-CoV also clearly displays the advantages of utilizing TCM for the treatment of COVID-19.

Apart from TCM, China has also focused on other kinds of anti -COVID medicine developed through collaborations among institutions at home and abroad. At the end of 2021, China approved the country's first COVID-19 antibody drug, developed by the co-efforts of Tsinghua University, the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen, and medical company Briibio.

According to the latest data released at the end of February 2022 by China's National Medical Products Administration, more than 50 COVID-19 medicines were being approved for clinical trials. As a result, more of China's anti-pandemic efforts will be seen in the field of medicine development.