• August 15th, 2020

Opinion - The anti-pandemic experience of China

At the beginning of 2020, an outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, never seen before, raged around the world, posing a severe threat to the safety and health of all human beings. As one of the first virus-stricken countries, through months’ painstaking efforts and tremendous sacrifice, China has achieved an initial victory in containing the spread of the virus. 

On 7 June, the Chinese government released a white paper named Fighting Covid-19 China in Action, introducing the experience of its fighting against the disease and clarifying its ideas on the global battle. Herewith, I would like to share it with our Namibian friends. 
People’s safety always comes first and saving lives is the top priority. The Chinese government has always put people’s lives and health as the first task. When the novel coronavirus struck, China decided that it would protect the lives and health of its people even at the cost of a severe economic downturn. The government took unprecedented lockdown measures to the epicentre Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, which has a population of 11 million people. 

The Chinese government mobilised the whole country and galvanised the people into a nationwide response. Since the outbreak, Chinese President Xi Jinping assumed full command over the control efforts from the very beginning and put in place a prevention and control system with the central authorities exercising overall command and the whole of society involved. Through rolling out the unprecedented and extensive scale public emergency response measures, China launched a people’s war on the virus. 
The Chinese New Year holiday arrived amid the epidemic. Following the government orders to contain the virus, the general public shouldered their responsibilities, cancelled visits, stayed at home, wore masks and executed social distancing. They made self-discipline and great sacrifices to win the battle against the epidemic. 

When a disaster strikes at one location, help comes from quarters. More than 40 000 medical workers came to the immediate aid of Hubei and the city of Wuhan. Around 40 000 construction workers with several thousand sets of machinery equipment completed the 1 000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital in just 10 days and built 16 temporary treatment centres famously known as Fangcang shelter hospitals in only two weeks, which showcased the world the remarkable Chinese speed. 

Scientific approach 
Adopting a scientific approach and releasing information in an open and transparent manner. Facing the unknown virus, China stuck to the scientific approach and gathered the top scientific research resources around the nation to pinpoint key R&D areas. It also adopted a multi-level, category-specific, dynamic and targeted control manner and new technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence in epidemic control. China has successively formulated and amended seven versions of diagnosis and treatment protocol and shared them with other countries immediately. 

Upholding the principle of open and transparency, China provided the world community with information on Covid-19 in a thoroughly professional and efficient way regularly, thus effectively disseminating knowledge about the disease and responding to public concern. China also has strengthened supervision over the quality and pricing of epidemic-control supplies and made every effort to ensure market order and social stability. 

It has adopted timely policies to ensure the basic livelihood of people in difficulties caused by Covid-19. As soon as the virus was generally curbed in early March, the Chinese government adopted a host of policies encouraging the orderly resumption of economic activities. In the meantime, Chinese enterprises overcame difficulties to produce most-needed medical materials for the international community in their full capacity, which help maintain the world industrial and supply chains as well as smooth the channels for the supply of goods, making an important contribution to the global anti-epidemic efforts and the stability of world economy. 

International solidarity 
Firstly, advocating international solidarity and cooperation. The coronavirus, as the common enemy to us all, respects no nationality or race. We must understand it has nothing to do with ideology and to stamp it out relies on science and joint efforts of the whole international community. 
In light of this, China provided twice cash support totalling US$50 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO), sent 29 medical expert teams to 27 countries, and offered assistance to more than 150 countries, regions and international organisations to its best ability. It is doing so out of the kindness of its people, the empathy they have with people of other countries suffering from the pandemic, and its sense of responsibility as a major country. It is anything but what certain western politicians smeared as exporting model nor pursuing selfish geopolitical interests. 

Secondly, upholding science and rationality. Science and technology are the bazooka that human beings can count on in the battle against the disease. Such battle could not be without scientific advances and technological innovation. Confronted by Covid-19, a new and previously unknown virus, it is especially important to uphold the spirit of science and rationality. On one hand, under the guidance of WHO, all countries are supposed to take scientific, appropriate, and well-coordinated prevention and control actions, facilitate information exchanges and experience sharing and launch international cooperation on test techniques, clinical treatment, new medicines and vaccines and so on. On the other hand, every member state should firmly stand against stigmatisation and politicisation of the virus, abandon prejudice and arrogance, and instead focus on defeating the virus and saving lives, to safeguard its people’s safety and health.

Global community 
Thirdly, jointly building a Global Community of Health for All. When addressing the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, President Xi Jinping announced 5 major measures that China would take in supporting the global fight, including US$2 billion of international aid over two years, and the Covid-19 vaccine to be used as a global public product once it is developed and deployed in China.
President Xi also called for a joint effort on the part of all countries to overcome the virus and build a global community of health for all. Human history is one of grappling with diseases and disasters. The pandemic exposes weaknesses and deficiencies existing in the global governance system for public health security. Every country is obliged to draw lessons from this pandemic, reflect carefully, build an efficient and sustainable global public health system for the benefit of all humanity, fortify defences for the lives and health of all, and participate in building a global community of health for all. This is in the interest of future generations and the wellbeing of all humanity.
At present, the coronavirus is still on the rampage and causing devastation around the world. China will continue to embrace the idea of a global community of shared future, stand together with other countries in the spirit of solidarity, cooperation, science, rationality, responsibility and transparency, to win the fight in a bid to safeguard global public health, secure the wellbeing of humanity, and defend morality and conscience of the international community. We firmly believe that solidarity means strength, and the world surely will win this battle at last.

*Zhang Yiming is the Chinese Ambassador to Namibia

Staff Reporter
2020-06-17 09:54:57 | 1 months ago

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