U.S.-China collaboration key to winning global battle against COVID-19: expert

WASHINGTON -- The U.S.-China collaborative research into the COVID-19 treatments and vaccines is one of the major fronts the world's top two economies can work on together to help win the global war against the pandemic, said a health policy expert.

"I believe U.S. and China can work together on three fronts that are key to winning the global battle against coronavirus disease (COVID-19)," Dr. Xi Chen, assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health, told Xinhua via Wechat on Wednesday.

First, both countries have great power working together on accelerating research and development of vaccine and therapeutics, he said. Multiple clinical trials are ongoing in China as China first went through the epidemic and many patients are still being treated.

With both governments stepping up efforts to invest and promote public-private partnership in developing some effective vaccine and therapeutics, the process will "have large chance to be shortened and more lives to be saved," he said.

Chinese health workers have cumulated very rich clinical experience treating COVID-19 patients, and U.S. health facilities are currently overwhelmed with patients, said Chen, also president of China Health Policy and Management Society (CHPAMS).

"There can be large ground for exchanges among doctors in both countries to standardize and streamline the treatment process to save lives. Chinese doctors will play an important role," he said.

It will also be crucial for the two countries to keep the global industrial and supply chains open, stable and secure as China is a major producer of face masks, ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE), and the U.S. recently becomes the global COVID-19 epicenter with great demand, said Chen.

"Such collaborations will be much needed and fruitful," he said. "We can't send soldiers to war zone without weapons. Give doctors what they need. When they are safe, the population can be safer."

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 400, 000 with fatalities over 12,000 by early Wednesday afternoon local time, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Globally, over 180 nations and regions have reported over 1.4 million cases with a death toll of over 83,000.

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