Chinese ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming has reiterated that since the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan, the People’s Republic of China has been transparent about the first cluster of virus cases and acted swiftly to contain the pandemic.
The virus that upended the global social order and caused millions of job losses will cost the global economy US$2.7 trillion on an unprecedented global scale, comparable to the hardships caused by World War II and it had sickened 4 million by yesterday.
In an exclusive interview with New Era, Ambassador Zhang, reacting to American President Donald Trump that China should pay America virus reparations, he said: “Led and guided by President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government set up an open and transparent national system for collective outbreak control in the shortest possible time by swiftly taking the most rigorous, comprehensive and thorough measures.
After more than three months of hard work, China achieved great success in the fight against the virus with local transmissions basically cut off.”
Zhang blushed aside suggestions that China should pay virus reparations, saying this amounts to “stigmatising China” and “politicising the pandemic and scapegoating China” by some western countries that failed to put in place effective control measures to contain the virus from spreading through social contact.
“Some politicians in western countries are not focusing on tackling the coronavirus outbreak, but keen to politicise the pandemic by scapegoating and stigmatising China. Some of them labelled the virus with China or befouled China to hide the truth, and some are even clamouring for claims and compensation from China. It is clear that they are buck-passing their own failure by blaming others. Referring to the virus as a Chinese virus, peddling the theory of Chinese responsibility or clamouring for compensation from China are ridiculous hocus-pocus…,” stated the Chinese ambassador.
“Those slanders are merely framing-up and political blackmail and manipulation with legal cover full of mischief, legal ignorance and political prejudice,” he candidly told New Era.
He said though the contagion is currently spread globally, as of 8 May, there were only two new suspected cases in China, all of which were imported and that because of a raft of strict control measures put in place, China currently has 176 confirmed cases that are still under treatment and has an accumulate case-load of 82 887 confirmed cases along with 4 633 deaths.
“Despite the defence net that China has built up with determination, unity and sacrifice, this dangerous disease has evolved into a worldwide pandemic. At present, the number of confirmed cases outside China has exceeded 3.6 million. Facing the increasingly severe global anti-pandemic situation, China is making every effort to provide the international community with assistance and share its anti-pandemic experience,” he stated.
Ambassador Zhang was also equally dismissive of unconfirmed rumours doing the rounds in certain political circles, accusing China of having originated the virus in a laboratory.
“There is no scientific evidence to support the so-called virus made in China theory and the hoax of Wuhan Virus Research Institute creating the virus. Those are all ill-intentioned false accusations. In fact, the source of coronavirus is a scientific issue that deserves research and demonstration by scientists and medical experts. The joint statement published in The Lancet by internationally authoritative medical experts pointed out that the Covid-19 had originated from nature and is not man-made. China is just one victim of this disease. On 1 May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) held a routine media conference, during which Dr Michael Ryan, the Executive Director of WHO, was questioned whether the new coronavirus came from Wuhan Virus Research Institute. He answered that many scientists had studied the virus gene sequence and they are convinced it originates from nature.”
“Although it is China that first discovered and reported the pandemic, the origin of the virus still needs time to finally verify. It is meaningless to blame one country since no one wants to see the outbreak. What we need most now is unity, solidarity and fighting together,” emphasised the ambassador.
“The intention to demand reparations from China is nothing but shifting blame to China for the inadequate response of someone else. The blame game has little support and ends up nowhere,” he stated.
On 27 December 2019, when China initially received information about cases of the virus in Wuhan, it immediately dispatched a pandemic notice to the WHO office in China on 31 December 2019, he further said.
Adding that since 3 January 2020, China has been updating the WHO and relevant countries, including the United States, about Covid-19 regularly.
On 12 January 2020, China released the whole genome sequencing of the coronavirus, and on 20 January, China confirmed the human-to-human transmission and shared it with the whole world. On 23 January, at the eve of Spring Festival, the most important traditional festival in China, China put Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, under quarantine.
At that time, there were 571 confirmed cases in China and only 10 cases abroad. On 30 January, WHO announced it as the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and there were 82 confirmed cases outside China by that time.
On 23 February, one month after the lockdown of Wuhan, the US reported 35 cases and except for the 76 cases in Italy, most European countries had not found any cases at that moment.