If the novel coronavirus pneumonia cases in China are reduced from high to zero in recent years, the researchers start from scratch. What is the progress of scientific research in China for new coronavirus, vaccine and effective clinical drugs? Where are they now? In “news 1 + 1” on March 26, Bai Yansong connected Zhou Qi, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and answered the questions that everyone concerned.
Q: How much do we know about viruses today?
Qi Zhou: the study of virus can be described as “the first step of the long march”. In the face of virus, where does it come from, where will it go, and what does it look like? So far, we only know a little bit. There is still a long way to go.
Q: What is the significance of discovering, identifying and publishing the full sequence of the virus?
Zhou Qi: the discovery and identification of the full sequence of the virus on January 11 is the most fundamental breakthrough in the anti epidemic work. If there is no complete sequence, there is no way to study diagnostic reagents, and there is no way to do the work related to the development of vaccines. Therefore, finding and identifying the full sequence is the top priority of the anti epidemic work.
Q: How about the sensitivity and accuracy of the test reagent?
Qi Zhou: in this short period of time, the development of testing reagents and equipment is very rapid. Based on the full sequence of viruses published in China in January, many different detection methods have been developed. The sensitivity and time of detection are developing in a better direction. Now the State Food and drug administration has released a number of testing kits and related equipment, some of which are also being promoted and exported overseas, and the testing methods have been revolutionary updated. In the past few months, we have seen a great change in technology and the efforts of scientific researchers to constantly have better testing methods.
Q: How far is the special medicine from us?
Zhou Qi: in the novel coronavirus pneumonia, the special drugs have changed greatly every time. In the future research and development path, how to find specific drugs for this virus is the top priority. This is not a short process. Drug research and development, so-called “10-year cycle, 1 billion US dollars”, is a recognized fact in the field. But today we are not facing a process of starting from scratch, because the research on coronavirus has lasted for many years, and a lot of work should be successful in the near future.
Q: Will everyone be vaccinated in the future?
Qi Zhou: we also have the flu vaccine. Not everyone has it. We are looking forward to better treatment and prevention of the virus.
Q: Are vaccines the only way to end the epidemic?
Qi Zhou: in the process of anti epidemic, all means are necessary and should be reserved. Vaccine is an important means but not the only one.