2020-02-13 Beijing Review

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Time for Solidarity

The novel coronavirus outbreak reported in
Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province in cen-
tral China, in late December has spread far
wider since then. Cases have been reported
in nearly two dozen countries and regions as
China was recorded in the Philippines.
The World Health Organization (WHO)
determined it to be a public health emer-
gency of international concern on January
31 and is offering assistance to countries, es-
pecially those with a weak public healthcare
system. This is a time for the international
community to unite in their efforts. The virus
is the common enemy of all, like the H1N
flu epidemic that broke out in Mexico and
south of the United States in April 2009 and
the Zika virus outbreak reported in Brazil in
In China, the highest level of response
has been implemented with the central
as well as local governments taking top-
level public health emergency measures.
Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, has self-
trains and long-distance bus services
since January 23 to reduce the risk of the
virus spreading. The Central Government
has sent over 6,000 medical workers and
two specialty hospitals have been built in
the city on a war footing.
Outside Wuhan, local governments have
adopted measures to contain the risk by
strengthening community management,
canceling mass public activities and issuing

regular information updates.
China has been open and transparent in
disseminating information on the status of
the emergency and the measures it is taking.
Information on the number of cases as well
as analysis of the virus genome sequence
have been shared with the rest of the world.
It remains in close communication with
WHO, whose chief visited Beijing and met
President Xi Jinping to assess the situation, as
well as other governments.
Commenting on these measures,
WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus said, “In many ways, China is
actually setting a new standard for outbreak
response, and this is not an exaggeration.”
In this critical hour, China needs under-
standing and solidarity to jointly tackle the
virus. Scientists around the world are racing
to develop a vaccine, companies are contrib-
uting with technology and other resources,
and individuals are voluntarily offering all the
help they can, including building an entire
hospital on Wuhan’s outskirts in 10 days.
During other emergencies in the past, China
stood ready to offer its expertise to the coun-
tries that needed it, like helping to battle the
Ebola and malaria in Africa.
In times of crisis, the human spirit has
time and again shown its resilience and cour-
age as well as solidarity that goes beyond
borders. With shared resources and informa-
tion, it is our conviction that all countries with
infection cases will put the epidemic under
effective control and ultimately defeat it. Q

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