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Jakarta Post

Fighting the epidemic in spirit of solidarity, cooperation

  • Deng Xijun

    -

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 4, 2020   /   10:26 am
Fighting the epidemic in spirit of solidarity, cooperation Indonesian health officials conduct an exercise drill in transporting a patient requiring isolation at the Belawan port in Medan on February 3, 2020. - Indonesia has evacuated 237 citizens and one foreign national, married to an Indonesian, from Wuhan, as China on February 3 said it urgently needed medical equipment and surgical masks as the death toll jumped above 360, making it more deadly than the SARS crisis nearly two decades ago. (AFP/Ivan Damanik)

The pneumonia outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has posed a serious threat to the lives and health of the Chinese people and become a common concern of the global community. President Xi Jinping always puts people’s lives and health first and has made a series of important instructions on the comprehensive, nation-wide response to the epidemic.

The Chinese government has adopted a whole-of-government approach, coupled with whole-of-society mobilization, in its fight against the 2019-nCoV epidemic.

Decisive and strict measures have been taken to curb spread of the virus, most notably the lockdown in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province and epicenter of the outbreak. Strong control and preventive measures have also been taken in such metropolitan areas like Beijing and Shanghai as well as in other population centers in China.

As World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described, the “unprecedented outbreak” of the coronavirus in China has been met with an “unprecedented response”.

We have every reason to remain confident of winning the battle against the epidemic, though the situation remains challenging. The measures taken by China are working, and the positive effects are appearing.

Since the epidemic broke out, the number of confirmed cases in areas outside Hubei province has grown at a much lower pace, and Wuhan remains the only city with concentrated infections.

Moreover, medical teams from other provinces have arrived in Hubei one after another, comprising a total of over 8,500 medical staff. Medical supplies are being delivered. Two exclusive hospitals are being built, and one has been put into use now. With the joint efforts of the government and the public, we firmly believe that the epidemic is preventable, controllable and curable.

In the meantime, China has been conducting international cooperation in an open, transparent and responsible manner. We have been sharing information, including the genetic sequences of the virus, with relevant international and regional organizations including the WHO, ASEAN and relevant countries to facilitate a timely and effective
response.

With great importance attached to the safety of foreign nationals in China, we keep the embassies and consulates in China well-informed through multiple channels and work hard to address their difficulties.

Regarding the WHO’s declaration of the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, I would like to recall the statement by director general Tedros that the declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China and that the WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak. There is no reason to limit trade and travel to China. The WHO does not recommend limiting trade and movement.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, ASEAN countries and peoples have rendered their understanding and support to China in its fight against the epidemic. This demonstrates once again our tradition of mutual support and help when disasters and difficulties strike.

At this critical moment, we sincerely hope that all of us remain calm and work shoulder to shoulder to fight the epidemic. The only way we will defeat this outbreak is if all countries work together in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation.

Finally let me quote the WHO director general’s message to the world in his statement on the IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Jan. 30:

“This is the time for facts, not fear.

This is the time for science, not rumors.

This is the time for solidarity, not stigma.”

***

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.