China admits “gaps” in health care system

China admitted on Saturday that COVID – 19 had revealed “gaps” in its health care and infectious disease prevention system, remarks which come against the backdrop of critics of the President Donald Trump.

The Asian country was the first affected by the late epidemic 2019. The big city of Wuhan (center), where the new coronavirus was detected, was particularly bruised.

The beginning of the crisis was hard: caregivers faced with an illness then unknown, overloaded hospitals forced to refuse patients, tests unavailable, patients not detected or lack of equipment.

Several doctors in Wuhan who had raised the alarm about the appearance of a new virus had also been questioned by the police and accused of spreading “rumors”.

“The fight against the epidemic of COVID – 19 will have been a great test for the system and the capacities of governance of the country”, conceded on Saturday Li Bin, the vice- Chinese Minister of Health.

“It also revealed that China still had gaps in its systems and mechanisms for preventing and controlling major epidemics and in its public health system,” he said at a conference. press in Beijing.

President Xi Jinping had already used the same vocabulary in February.

But the remarks on Saturday come at a time when the United States criticizes Beijing for having concealed information and for having mismanaged the crisis.

“It could have been stopped in China,” Donald Trump said this week, speaking of the epidemic.

Beijing declares that it quickly shared with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries all the data at its disposal.

The Deputy Minister of Health outlined several avenues for improving the Chinese health system, including the creation of a “centralized, unified and efficient command”.

He also mentioned better use of artificial intelligence and big data to anticipate epidemics.

Finally, the ministry is campaigning for an improvement in health laws or “a strengthening of international cooperation,” said Li Bin.

More than 80 000 people were infected with the coronavirus in China, and 4633 died from it, according to the latest official report.

Beijing said on Friday that it would support the creation of a commission under the aegis of the WHO to assess “the global response” to COVID – 19, but only ” after the end of the epidemic. “