President Xi Jinping Tuesday called for efforts to develop a strong public health system to safeguard people's health.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when presiding over a symposium attended by experts and scholars.
Noting that the people's security is the cornerstone of national security, Xi called for readiness for worst-case scenarios, stronger awareness of potential dangers and constant efforts to forestall major risks in health care.
"Only by developing a strong public health system, improving the early warning and response mechanisms, comprehensively enhancing the capacity for prevention, control and treatment, weaving a tight prevention and control network, and consolidating the wall of quarantine, can we provide a strong guarantee for safeguarding the people's health," Xi said.
Premier Li Keqiang and Wang Huning, a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, who are both members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the symposium.
Experts and scholars, including academicians with the Chinese Academy of Engineering such as Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory professor at Guangzhou Medical University, and Zhang Boli, head of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, spoke and put forward suggestions at the symposium.
Xi exchanged views with experts and scholars who spoke at the symposium.
When delivering a very important speech, Xi noted that the CPC Central Committee, in the face of the unexpected COVID-19 epidemic, took the overall situation into account, made resolute decisions, and insisted on putting people's lives and health first.
Thanks to the concerted, all-out efforts made by the Chinese people, as well as the most strict, comprehensive and thorough measures for epidemic prevention and control, China has made major strategic achievements in the battle against COVID-19, Xi said.
On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi expressed gratitude to the experts and scholars for their important contributions to epidemic containment.
The disease prevention and control system serves as an important guarantee for protecting people's health and public health security as well as maintaining economic and social stability, he noted.
Xi required efforts to make disease prevention measures more calibrated and effective, calling for greater reform in streamlining systems and mechanisms, clarifying functions and improving professional competence.
Xi stressed the pressing need for boosting the early-stage epidemic monitoring and warning capacity to improve the public health system, including efforts for a better monitoring system for epidemics and public health emergencies, and a better monitoring mechanism for diseases of unknown causes and abnormal health incidents.
Party committees and governments at all levels were asked to put in place public health working mechanisms for the regular study and deployment of epidemic prevention and containment.
Following the principle that nothing matters more than the people's lives, China has unprecedentedly mobilized resources across the country to treat and rescue COVID-19 patients on a large scale, said Xi.
"From newborns to centenarians, we never leave out any infected person and never give up on any patient. We make sure that no one has to worry about treatment expenses," Xi pointed out.
Xi urged drawing on the experience accumulated in fighting COVID-19 and making innovations in carrying out public health campaigns, stressing the transformation from environmental sanitation to comprehensive society-wide health management.
Party committees and governments at all levels should put public health work on their priority list and explore more effective ways for mobilization, Xi said.
Noting that the combination of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medicine is one of the major characteristics of China's COVID-19 response, Xi urged improving the emergency response and treatment capabilities of TCM hospitals and strengthening the training of TCM professionals to build a national high-caliber TCM professional team for epidemic prevention and treatment.
Xi stressed the need to advance the revision of laws including the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases to improve the response measures against major emerging infectious diseases and sudden outbreaks.
Stating that science and technology are sharp weapons in humanity's battle against diseases, Xi said humanity cannot defeat a major disaster or epidemic without scientific development and technological innovation.
He called for increasing scientific and technological inputs in the health sector and attracting more talent for scientific research.
Since the epidemic outbreak, China has been upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity and working closely with the World Health Organization and related countries, Xi said.
He added that China has also actively shared epidemic and virus information, as well as containment experience and measures with the international community. It has provided material and technical support to over 100 countries and international organizations to the best of its ability, he said.
Xi added that China will continue to fulfill its international obligations, fully play its role as the world's biggest supplier of anti-epidemic materials and work together to build a community of health for all.