That would entail more spending on medical training, especially for general practitioners, he suggested. Chinese hospitals often refer patients to specialists, even for common illnesses that general practitioners could easily treat.
Cracking down on the illegal trade in wildlife. Scientists generally believe that the coronavirus may have spread from a wholesale market in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, where some vendors sold wildlife. They say the pathogen may have jumped from bats to other animals, possibly pangolins, and to humans.
“Resolutely ban and harshly attack the illegal market and trade in wildlife,” he said in the comments published Saturday. “Contain major public health hazards at their source.”
Improved emergency preparations. The Chinese government has touted its vast mobilization of officials, doctors and medical resources to fight the epidemic. In his latest comments, Mr. Xi said that even so, China could do better. He called for clear lines of command in response to public health emergencies.
As Mr. Xi often does, he emphasized the potential of new, data-driven technology to improve the government’s response. “We must encourage the application of big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other digital technology to play a better supporting role in monitoring and analyzing outbreaks, tracing viruses, prevention and treatment, and allocating resources,” he said.
No signs of liberalization. One notable thing was what Mr. Xi did not say. Many Chinese people, including health experts, have said that the epidemic illustrated the risks to public health created by official censorship, which early in the epidemic led to doctors being silenced by the authorities after they discussed the outbreak with colleagues. One of those doctors, Li Wenliang, himself died from the virus, making him into a martyr-like symbol of the costs of speaking out.
But Mr. Xi gave no indication that loosening censorship was on his agenda. The government, he said, would continue to crack down on “concocting and spreading rumors” — the accusation that the police in Wuhan leveled against Dr. Li.