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Xi Focus: Moment of truth: Xi leads war against COVID-19

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Update time : 2020-03-12 11:33:13

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits patients who are being treated, by video calls at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 10, 2020. Xi Jinping on Tuesday arrived in Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, for an inspection of the epidemic prevention and control work in Hubei Province and its capital city Wuhan. Xi visited and expressed regards to medical workers, military officers and soldiers, community workers, officials and volunteers who have been fighting the epidemic on the front line, as well as patients and residents during the inspection. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

    WUHAN, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Standing in a hospital hall, a man wearing a medical respirator waved to a big screen. On it, a patient lying in bed flanked by two gowned medical workers waved back.

"What you should do now is stay confident. We all should be confident that we will win this war," the man said through a video link at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, in central China's Hubei Province.
"Victory for Wuhan, victory for Hubei, and victory for China!" He declared with a clenched fist.

    The man of the hour was President Xi Jinping, commander-in-chief of China's war against COVID-19, who flew into Wuhan Tuesday to inspect the epidemic prevention and control work on the ground.

    By this week, the respiratory viral disease has spread to more than 100 countries and regions, infecting over 100,000 people and posing a major public health threat to mankind after SARS, MERS and Ebola.

For Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, this represents one of the biggest tests in his eight years of governance, as 80 percent of the infections -- including more than 3,000 deaths -- have been in China.

    The COVID-19 outbreak is the hardest major public health emergency to contain since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he said.

    Xi declared a "people's war" to fight this invisible enemy by mobilizing the force of the whole country.

As medics and scientists battled the previously unknown virus head-on, hundreds of millions of people abandoned their holiday plans to stay at home for weeks on end.

    Cities were locked down, businesses suspended, public events canceled and even the annual sessions of the national legislative and political advisory bodies postponed for the first time due to a public health emergency.

After an arduous struggle, positive signs have emerged. Daily new cases on the Chinese mainland dropped to 19 on Monday, down from the plateau of thousands a month ago. Most provinces have reported zero increase for days.

Even in Wuhan, the situation has turned the corner with more than 30,000 patients discharged and all the re-purposed makeshift hospitals shut down.

    The spread has been basically curbed, Xi said, noting the initial success in stabilizing the situation and turning the tide in Hubei and Wuhan.

    "But the prevention and control work remains arduous," he said, demanding consistent efforts to take epidemic prevention and control as a task of paramount importance.