VIENTIANE, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- China is capable of and confident in winning the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as soon as possible, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday.
Speaking at a special foreign ministers' meeting on coronavirus disease held by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Wang introduced the latest development on China's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to him, China's daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases outside Hubei, the epicenter province of the outbreak, have dropped for 16 consecutive days by Wednesday. No new confirmed cases were reported on Wednesday in 13 provincial-level regions of China.
The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases has been declining for seven consecutive days in Hubei Province, with the number reducing sharply on Wednesday as compared with that on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the number of cured patients is rising. A total of 16,168 patients had been discharged from hospitals after recovery by Wednesday in China.
The state councilor said the Chinese people, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, are working together to combat the virus by taking the most comprehensive, strict and thorough measures. Those figures show that the epidemic can be controled and contained.
Wang mentioned that 25 countries have been affected by COVID-19, while the H1N1 flu in 2009 had spread into over 200 countries and regions. About 99 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases are reported in China with only 1 percent outside China. Those facts show that China has taken effective measures as a responsible country.
By quoting World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Wang added that China's effective measures, which have curbed the infection of COVID-19 inside China, "not only protected the Chinese people, but also prevented the spread of the virus to other countries" and win the time for world to prepare for the epidemic.
"We strongly believe that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, with the country's strong mobilization capacity and comprehensive strength, China is capable of and confident in winning the battle against the novel coronavirus as soon as possible," the state councilor said.