What China has done to boost int'l cooperation against COVID-19

Xinhua
Across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant loss of life, disrupting livelihoods, and threatening the development and prosperity of the world.
Xinhua

Across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant loss of life, disrupting livelihoods, and threatening the development and prosperity of the world.

As solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons to fight the pandemic, China has been boosting international cooperation in an open, transparent and responsible manner since the onset of the unprecedented health crisis.

By upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, China has been providing updates on COVID-19 in a timely manner, unreservedly sharing its experiences in epidemic response and medical treatment with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community, strengthening cooperation on scientific research, and providing assistance to all parties to the best of its ability.

UNPRECEDENTED, EFFECITVE MOVE

In the face of a ballooning epidemic, the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Jan. 22 ordered Hubei province, the center of the outbreak at the time, to impose comprehensive and strict control over the outbound population flow, an unprecedented but effective move in modern Chinese history.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the serious lockdown measures not only protected the Chinese people, but also prevented the spread of the virus to other countries.

"China has rolled out perhaps the most ambitious, agile and aggressive disease containment effort in history," said a report released in late February by the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, consisting of 25 experts from eight countries and the WHO itself.

"Because of this strategy, if it weren't for China's efforts, the number of cases outside China would have been very much higher," he said at a WHO Executive Board meeting in Geneva.

After a nine-day field trip in Beijing and other Chinese provinces, the China-WHO expert team concluded that China's unprecedented responses to the COVID-19 outbreak have yielded notable results in blocking human-to-human transmissions of the virus, preventing or at least delaying hundreds of thousands of cases.

The Chinese people stand on the frontline of defense in the fight against the pandemic, and have made huge contributions and sacrifices in order to safeguard the health and safety of people around the world, which deserves the respect of all countries worldwide, said Ivica Dacic, president of the Socialist Party of Serbia.

CHAMPION OF MULTILATERALISM

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his address to the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit in March, proposed that a Group of 20 (G20) health ministers' meeting be convened as soon as possible to improve information-sharing, strengthen cooperation on drugs, vaccines and epidemic control, and cut off cross-border infections.

He also proposed a G20 COVID-19 assistance initiative for better information-sharing and policy and action coordination with the support of the WHO.

In a phone conversation with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday, Xi said that China firmly supports the United Nations and the WHO in playing their due roles in international cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the same day, he urged the international community to step up support for Africa's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. There are currently 75,498 cumulative COVID-19 cases in 53 African countries, with 2,561 deaths, according to WHO data.

China, on top of paying its assessed contributions to the WHO on time and in full, has recently donated a total of 50 million U.S. dollars to the WHO to support its response to the pandemic.

Besides, Chinese medical teams have conducted some 400 training sessions in Africa to share its anti-epidemic experiences and have trained 20,000 local medical workers, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday.

As of mid-May, the Chinese government has provided anti-epidemic supplies to more than 150 countries and international organizations, held over 120 video conferences with more than 160 countries and international organizations, and sent 21 teams of medical experts to 19 countries.

TECHNICAL EXCHANGE

Since the beginning of the outbreak, China has not only promptly shared with the world such critical information as the whole genome sequence of the virus, but also its diagnostic and therapeutic experiences.

It has also established close technical-level communication mechanisms with international organizations such as the WHO, the European Union, the African Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Starting from Jan. 3, China has begun to inform the United States of the novel coronavirus outbreak and response measures on a regular basis. When an expert evaluation team from China's National Health Commission identified a novel coronavirus on Jan. 8, heads of Chinese and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention talked over the phone to discuss technological exchanges and cooperation.

By carrying out timely technical exchanges with the international community, such as the WHO, the United States, and countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, Chinese scientists and health experts worked with their global peers to share their knowledge about the virus to help countries develop testing kits and adopt response measures.

Chinese scientists and political leaders have made efforts to help the world understand the virus and contain its spread, said Fabrizio Pregliasco, a researcher at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health at the University of Milan.

China sets "an excellent example of 'peer to peer' experience-sharing," said Maria van Kerkhove, technical lead for the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, adding that the WHO looks forward to seeing more direct interaction of that kind.

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