Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / China-US

Multi-nation online conference held on COVID-19

By MAY ZHOU in Houston | | Updated: 2020-06-06 10:17
Share - WeChat
Volunteers arrive to place flags at the Calverton National Cemetery on May 23, 2020 in Wading River, New York. The US Department of Veterans Affairs suspended the practice amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic leading volunteer groups to take action on Memorial Day weekend. [Photo/Agencies]

Experts from the US, China, Canada and Singapore came together for an online conference to share experiences of fighting COVID-19 and to call for global cooperation to beat the pandemic.

The event on June 4 was organized by Rice University and Zhejiang University. Y. Ping Sun, the university representative at Rice, said that coronavirus is a global problem that requires a global solution.

"Only by working together can we find a solution to address the pandemic more quickly," she said.

Neil Bush, founder and chairman of the George H.W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations, which sponsored the event, made opening remarks.

"My father believed that the US-China relationship was the most important bilateral relationship in the world. Not only is our country and world right now facing the health challenge of a pandemic and the global economy being shut down, we are also seeing the rise of great tensions between the United States and China.

"If there ever is a time where we should practice the ethos and philosophy of George H. W. Bush, where we should collaborate where we should share best practices, that times is now," Bush said.

"This is the time we should find our common humanity, link arms and work together. So, to build walls, to point fingers of blame is counterproductive," he said.

Sten Vermund, dean and professor of public health at Yale University, gave an overview of the pandemic situation, noting that as of June 4:, 6.6 million people have been infected by COVID-19 and more than 388, 000 people have died from it in the world.

Besides the vaccine and drug developments underway and data science to help formulate good policy, Vermund said honesty in government and healthcare is also important.

Wu Xifeng, dean of the school of public health and vice-president of the Second Affiliated Hospital at Zhejiang University, shared how China predicted the infection trend by modeling, which turned out to be very close to what actually happened. Such modeling is also being used to help China decide how and when to reopen, she said.

Teo Yik Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, shared how the Singapore government employed aggressive testing, contact tracing and isolation of infected citizens at government facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"When we start to think about global response, it is important that this global response takes into account of inter-government partnership especially when we start to think about unlocking and ease restrictions. This requires transparency and trust between governments.

Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, said US data of COVID-19 is uneven and inconsistent because of the way testing is implemented.

"We don't know at all in the United States what's going on. Unlike many other countries, we have to see symptoms before allowing the test to be used. When we see the results of testing, we only see the tip of the iceberg," Goldman said.

The good news is that US is supporting five approaches to vaccine development under Operation Warp Speed, Goldman said.

Craig Janes, director of the school of public health and health systems at the University of Waterloo, Canada, said that COVID-19 response in Canada isn't that much different from the US with a fragmented healthcare system. In addition, long-term care is not in Canada's universal healthcare system, it is short on staffing and has proved to be challenging when dealing with COVID-19.

Chi-Man Yip, professor and director of China Health Partnership at Harvard University, examined COVID-19's negative impact on non COVID-19 patients in terms of delayed immunization, diagnosis and treatment of other illness such as stroke and cancer. For example, at one point the number of outpatients dropped by as much as 60% percent Meanwhile, telemedicine went up by more than ten percent but not enough to cover the gap.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349