The coronavirus epidemic, which killed more than 2,400 people, has been "the biggest public health emergency" in Communist China since its inception in 1949, President Xi Jinping said on Sunday.
It is necessary to learn from "obvious shortcomings" uncovered during China's response, Xi added at an official meeting to coordinate the virus fight – a rare recognition by a Chinese leader.
In comments from state-owned broadcaster CCTV, Xi said the epidemic had "the fastest transmission, the broadest spectrum of infection, and the most difficult to prevent and control."
"This is a crisis for us and a great test," he said.
Xi's comments come from the fact that the number of viral infections in mainland China reached almost 77,000 – with countries like South Korea on high alert and Italy also taking measures to contain them.
Xi admitted on Sunday that the epidemic "will inevitably have a major impact on the economy and society," but stressed that the effects will be "short-term" and manageable.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)