Jointly Tackle the Challenges of COVID-19, Safeguard Global Public Health Security
2020-03-05 13:16

On 5th March, Fiji Sun published a signed article by Ambassador Qian Bo entitled Jointly Tackle the Challenges of COVID-19, Safeguard Global Public Health Security. The full text is as follows:


Jointly Tackle the Challenges of COVID-19
Safeguard Global Public Health Security

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 early this year, the Chinese government has mobilized resources throughout the country, united all the Chinese people as one, and taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures to prevent and control the spread of the virus.
-- 1.4 Billion People. Wuhan, a city of 11 million residents in central China's Hubei Province, has been put under extraordinary and decisive lockdown since Jan 23. 1.4 billion Chinese voluntarily stay at home to reduce public gathering activities.
-- 41,600 Medics. A total of more than 41,600 medical personnel have bid farewell to their families and rushed to the front line without hesitation. It saddened us to hear that around 2,000 of them had been infected and that some had even sacrificed their lives. They have offered all their professional skills, shed their sweat, and even devoted their lives here, composing an impressive song of fighting against the epidemic.
-- 23,000 Hospital Beds. Within a single month, hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in Wuhan have been increased from some 5,000 to more than 23,000, among which more than 9,000 were prepared for severely-ill patients, a batch of gyms, conference and exhibition centers have been transformed into temporary hospitals and quarantine spots.
-- 20,000 Sample Tests per Day. The number of tests conducted per day have increased from 300 to 20,000; and instead of two days, now it only takes 4 to 6 hours to get the results. All those in need of nucleic acid test will be tested immediately.
Current Situation
Thanks to these arduous efforts, the situation of the epidemic prevention and control in the country is moving in a positive direction.
-- in Wuhan, the highest number of newly confirmed cases per day was 3,910 on Feb. 13, and then fell to 111 on Mar. 2.
-- nationwide,a total of 47,204 patients of the COVID-19 had been discharged from hospital by the end of Monday, or 59% of people diagnosed, have recovered.
-- the recovery rate of severely-ill and critical patients has risen to 64% from 14% in designated hospitals.
The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in China has been significantly reduced, and the cure rate has also increased remarkably, proving that the virus can be controlled and cured.
At the same time, we have to keep fighting when the turning point of the epidemic situation in China has not yet arrived. Moreover, there are 64 countries outside China confirmed 8774 cases up to Mar. 2, according to the WHO. The spread of the epidemic around the world need highly attention and quick response from all related countries. As the country with the greatest knowledge on COVID-19, China is willing to share our experience and cooperate with international community in fighting against the virus.
Together We Fight against the Virus
Many countries are fighting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. We have realized that we still face a severe and complicated situation that the virus has became a common enemy of humanity and requires a collective response from the international community.
The WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 has made major recommendations in its report released after the joint mission deployment to China for nine days last month, which calls for countries with or without cases of COVID-19, the public and the international community to perform their own functions. China, as the country with the greatest knowledge on COVID-19, is willing to share our successful experience and cooperate with international community in fighting against the virus.
As Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, I share the same feeling with our Fijian friends, who are highly concerned with the safety and health of our people. With the joint efforts made by Fijian Government and China, I'm also happy to say there is no confirmed cases in Fiji to date. All Fijians in China are also well and in good health, the central and local governments have been trying their best to ensure health and daily needs for all of them. We will continue to take good care of all the foreign nationals in China like its own.
China and Fiji are comprehensive strategic partners who always support and stand with each other in times of difficulty. We will stay in close communication with Fiji and provide updates on latest developments, provide assistance to the best of its capabilities to meet the needs of Fiji, including increasing professional discussions and sharing epidemic containment experience and technologies, thereby safeguarding the health and safety of the people in both countries.
Respond to Coronavirus with Facts, Not Rumors
However, while we are fighting the visible virus from nature, we are also under attack from invisible, man-made "information virus" out there. Some people fabricated and spread rumors, such as unfounded claims that the virus emerged from a biolab. All this goes against the universal values of morality and humanitarianism.
The WHO has said repeatedly there is no evidence that COVID-19 was engineered in a laboratory or created by the manufacture of biological weapons. About the virus itself, we still don't have enough knowledge. Scientists are doing their best to know more about this novel virus. Based on the analysis of genomic sequence, what we could know now is that this virus originates from nature, not man-made. "Though the COVID-19 was first discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China," said renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Mr. Zhong Nanshan. We strongly oppose any racial abuse and discrimination against Chinese people.
Stigma and discrimination come from panic, lack of understanding and empathy. It will create panic and overreaction, and harm people-to-people relations. I want to emphasize that what we need in the face of an epidemic is science, rationality and cooperation. We must seek the triumph of science over ignorance, dispel rumors with truth, and replace prejudice with cooperation. We hope the international community, while fighting COVID-19 together, will continue to combat conspiracy theories and other "political viruses".