WUHAN, March 10 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping on Tuesday inspected the COVID-19 outbreak epicenter in central China, pledging a continuous fight toward victory as prevention and control efforts have "turned the tide."
The inspection to Wuhan, Hubei Province, took the president to a hospital treating severely ill COVID-19 patients and a residential community. He visited patients, medics, community residents and workers, police officers, military personnel, officials and volunteers who have been fighting the novel coronavirus.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for firm, solid and meticulous prevention and control efforts to defend Hubei and Wuhan.
Xi said thanks to hard work, the situation in Hubei and Wuhan has shown positive changes with important progress, but the task of prevention and control remains arduous.
Xi stressed continuing to take epidemic prevention and control as a task of paramount importance.
Praising the people of Wuhan, Xi said the positive trend in epidemic control could not have been achieved without their sacrifice, devotion, perseverance and efforts.
With their concrete actions, the people of Wuhan have demonstrated the strength and spirit of China, as well as the Chinese people's love for their family and nation, which enables them to stick together through thick and thin, he said.
On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi sent condolences to people who died in the epidemic and people who sacrificed their lives fighting on the front line.
Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, also attended the inspection.
In Huoshenshan Hospital, the first leg of his inspection, Xi lauded medical workers as "the most beautiful angels" and "messengers of light and hope."
The frontline medical workers have taken on the most arduous missions, Xi said, calling them "the most admirable people in the new era" who deserve the highest commendations.
Xi talked with patients in the hospital through a video link, and expressed his wishes for their quick recovery.
"All prevention and control measures taken by the CPC Central Committee against the virus are to prevent more people from being infected and save more patients' lives," Xi said.
Meeting medic representatives in the hospital, Xi said the spread of the virus has been basically curbed in Hubei and Wuhan, and attributed the achievement to efforts of the whole Party, the whole country and the whole society.
"But you are the biggest heroes," Xi told the medics.
Leaving Huoshenshan Hospital, Xi came to a residential community. People quarantined at home waved to Xi from their balconies and windows. Xi waved back and expressed his regards.
Xi stressed the importance of communities in epidemic prevention and control, requiring grassroots Party organizations and Party members to play their key roles in containing the virus spread in communities.
He emphasized closely relying on the people to win the people's war against the epidemic.
After the field inspection, Xi chaired a teleconference and delivered an important speech.
Xi said since the outbreak, the CPC Central Committee has taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough prevention and control measures to resolutely curb the spread of the virus in Wuhan and Hubei.
"Initial success has been achieved in stabilizing the situation and turning the tide," he said.
Xi said medical treatment should be given the top priority to improve the recovery rate and reduce mortality to the greatest extent under the principle of scientific and targeted treatment.
Noting that the fight against the virus is at a critical moment, Xi stressed further preventing the spread and exportation of cases.
Xi demanded more understanding and tolerance for people in Hubei and Wuhan if some vent their feelings for long time under self-quarantine, as well as efforts to ensure the supply of their life necessities.
The epidemic will not affect the fundamentals of Hubei's steady and long-term sound economic development, Xi said, urging implementation of policies and measures to support enterprises, stabilize employment and create more jobs.
Calling the response to the virus a "test" for China's system and capacity for governance, which has brought both experience and lessons, Xi demanded efforts to fix the shortcomings and weak links as soon as possible.
Xi urged Party organizations, members and officials to shoulder responsibilities, adopt sound prevention and control measures and improve their capabilities in the test.