By Zhang Jinruo, People’s Daily
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the COVID-19 as a pandemic after the organization’s assessment at a briefing in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday local time.
Noting that this pandemic can be controlled, the WHO head called on the world to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world
According to the situation report issued by the WHO on March 10, a total of 113,702 confirmed cases had been reported around the world as of 10:00 am that day, with the virus spreading to 109 countries and regions outside China.
Chen Xu, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland, met with Tedros on March 7, informing the latter that the Chinese government will contribute $20 million to the WHO in support of its global efforts in combating the COVID-19 epidemic.
China supports the WHO’s professional and coordination role with concrete actions, so as to help developing countries with vulnerable public health systems effectively respond to the epidemic. According to the permanent representative, China’s donation will be used to help developing countries improve their response capacities and strengthen public health systems.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has always kept communication and coordination with the WHO and the international society. It shared with the WHO the genome sequence of the virus strain at the first opportunity, and timely informed relevant countries and regions on the development of the epidemic. Besides, it also participated in telephone seminars and joined a global research and innovation forum on COVID-19 to maintain further cooperation with the WHO.
The WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19 issued its investigation report on Feb. 29, saying China has adopted the bravest, most flexible and most active measures against the unknown virus, and has prevented at least 100,000 cases, creating a stronger first line of defense against international spread. Containing the epidemic, the Chinese government and its people have made huge sacrifices, in both human and material terms, the report said.
After the investigation, the joint mission came up with very specific and constructive advice regarding how the international society should learn from China’s experience, and mentioned in the report that the world needs Chinese experience to cope with the epidemic.
“With openness, transparency and a high sense of responsibility for global public health security and people’s well-being, we will continue information-sharing with the international community including the WHO. We will also strive to enhance coordination and cooperation to advance joint response at regional and global levels to stem the spread of the virus,” said Geng Shuang, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson at a press conference Wednesday. While combating COVID-19 at home, China is ready to contribute to the global response, he noted.
Besides, China is planning to recommend related Chinese institutions to serve as WHO’s monitoring and reference labs for COVID-19, and sharing its technical documents on treatment and prevention with the organization.
The country is also encouraging its scientific research units and scientists to participate in WHO-initiated international cooperation programs, so as to offer technical supports to affected countries through WHO platforms.
Viruses respect no borders. China will keep standing with each country and offering mutual assistance, and support and join international cooperation to fight the disease, in an attempt to contribute to regional and international public health security and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
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