Travel restrictions can delay, but not defeat, the coronavirus disease known as Covid-19. Face masks, hand washing, social distancing and quarantining will only protect against infection. Winning the fight requires strong science and technology through testing, good medical treatment and creation of a vaccine. President Xi Jinping has sought such a course since the outbreak began, pushing for the world’s governments and scientists to work together to bring an end to the crisis. The grappling by some governments with the spreading threat is evidence that basic lessons have not been learned and coordination is lacking. Asian nations have been told by the World Health Organisation that several are faring poorly and need to take more aggressive measures; even those that appear to have been coping, South Korea among them, are now facing a resurgence. Xi’s signed article in the Communist Party magazine, Qiushi , on Monday was a timely reminder of what needs to be done. He laid out Beijing’s successes, stressing how science and technology were the most powerful weapons in the battle against diseases. It is a sensible approach – no cure exists for Covid-19, so science offers the only viable way out of the crisis. Treating seriously and critically ill patients is the immediate task and combining Chinese and Western medicine could hold the key. Researchers are working on vaccines in a number of countries, but the efforts are largely isolated, so cooperation through joint work or sharing information are paramount to creating, producing and manufacturing safe drugs as quickly as possible. Improved testing kits have been made and virologists are trying to find the source of Covid-19 and how humans came to be infected. Technological innovations have also had an important role, big data and artificial intelligence and the use of drones to trace the movement of infected people, track them and determine who they may have come into contact with. Xi’s efforts have a dual purpose: to find a cure and to push science and technology. But the work is not for China alone. The United States in particular has to set aside its trade and tech rivalry. All governments have to cooperate and coordinate if the war against the disease is to be won. Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.