China Inaugurates the first biocontainment level 4 laboratory in Wuhan
National Health and Family Planning Commission of PRC and Chinese Academy of Sciences inaugurated the bio-containment level 4 laboratory (P4) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, on Jan. 31. Referring to the international construction standards of biocontainment level 4 laboratory and China’s related construction standards, the laboratory, which is one of the mega scientific facilities funded by National Development and Reform Commission, was designed by French and China, and was installed and built by Chinese part. The facility is an essential platform for research and development against high contagious and infectious diseases, the first entity ever in China’s history since its foundation.
Mr. Zhu Chen, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC, Mr. Bin Li, Minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Mr. Chunli Bai, President of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mr. Jean-Marie Le Guen, Secrétaire d'État chargé des Relations avec le Parlement, Mr. Alain MERIEUX, President of MERIEUX Foundation, and officials from other departments attended the inauguration ceremony, which was hosted by Mr. Yaping Zhang, Vice President of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Mr. Zhu Chen pointed out, that state leaders of both China and France accorded great importance to bi-lateral cooperation on science and technology. Since SARS pandemic, Beijing and Paris have signed the agreement, amendments and supplementary statements, to reinforce the joint efforts on prevention and control of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Collaboration on building Wuhan P4 Laboratory has always been the top priority among numerous initiatives. The past ten years saw the enormous investment, designing and planning detailed to bolt and nut, days and nights of hard working. It will never accomplish without the support of administrative teams of both governments, the talented brains and sweating hands of engineers and workers from both countries. The brand new P4 facility will provide critical platform for scientists from the world to fight against life-threatening infectious diseases.
Mr. Jean-Marie Le Guen and Mr. Alain MERIEUX thanked and congratulated Chinese government and all the contributors who have built such a spectacularly modern facility. And added that, globalization has casted tremendous pressure on prevention and control of emerging and reemerging diseases. Thus a united world society is a must to win over the challenge to public health and sustained development of human beings. The implementation of P4 joint program has not only vividly embodied the depth and strength of the tie between France and China, also the responsibility to the world community. By helping Chinese colleagues with the world class designing and architecture technology of biocontainment facilities, France has expanded its front line of disease prevention and control.
According to Wuhan Institute of Virology, the P4 Laboratory is a specialized core facility for studies on highly contagious and fatal diseases like Ebola virus disease. Therefore, the facility must provide the biosafety protection to the investigators and environment at the highest standard possible on earth. Only a few developed countries have P4 laboratories, before the inauguration of Wuhan P4 laboratory. China started to build such a facility ever since SARS outbreak. Engineers and workers worked together to have accomplished the complex, even more advanced than its parental facility in Lyon, France.
More than 200 people from different administrative entities attended the ceremony, who have participated in the entire program and provided tremendous help in the past decade.