Chinese President Xi Jinping recognised the country's 'COVID-19 heroes' during a lavish ceremony held on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The said event had been an avenue for Xi to position China's success in fighting the pandemic amidst a continuously rising death toll in other parts of the world.

According to a report, the event had been aired through China's national broadcaster, CCTV, while being held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi highlighted that the country had "acted decisively" in its efforts to stem the coronavirus pandemic, and that it had "quickly achieved success in the people’s war against the virus."

As the Communist Party's general secretary, Xi credited the role of the party in attaining such a success and announced that the country is already resuming growth after months of being ravaged by the pandemic.

He also acknowledged medical staff born in the 1990s and 2000s who had contributed significantly by saying that they were the true "hope of the Chinese nation."

Zhong Nanshan, China's leading respiratory diseases expert, was awarded the most prestigious Medal of the Republic while three other medical experts of the country had been designated as “the People’s Heroes” at the ceremony.

The 83-year old professor led the third national investigation in uncovering the early stages of the Wuhan outbreak. This resulted in a January announcement that revealed that the virus could spread between humans and contradicted earlier comments by other top experts which said that the possibility of human to human transmission was very limited.

Xi also posthumously commended 44 others for their contributions in fighting the outbreak. Overall, the total number of recognitions awarded by Xi reached 1,500.

Notably, Xi reiterated that China would take "global responsibility" by openly sharing gathered information regarding the virus with non-Chinese bodies and organizations such as the World Health Organisation. He also said that the country will mend the weaknesses of the public's healthcare system.

It can be recalled that the Chinese government had, earlier this year, exonerated Li Wenliang -- a 33-year old doctor from Wuhan -- whose death on Feb. 6 sparked international outrage after word spread that he and other doctors had been discouraged about warning the people about the disease in the early stages of the outbreak.

China has not been fully cleared of the virus and is still continually experiencing outbreaks in some parts of the country, though the latest infections have been reported from those who came from travels abroad.

Chinese president Xi Jinping
Chinese president Xi Jinping Reuters

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