World

Ambassador urges global unity in fight against virus

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-29 08:42

Medical workers cheer for each other in the ICU (intensive care unit) of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province, Jan 24, 2020. [Xinhua/Photo]

China has erected a Great Wall of disease control in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak, which has resulted in steadily raising cure rate, but an invisible, man-made “political virus” can be as destructive as the natural kind, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said on Friday.

The Chinese people have united and displayed “extraordinary fortitude and devotion” to a completely new virus, which was named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, Cui wrote in an op-ed article published on USA Today.  “In the race with time, a Great Wall of disease control has been put in place quickly, and no pains are spared to save lives,” he noted.

In the opinion piece, Cui paid tribute to what many Chinese people called the “heroic city” of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The city of 11 million has been put under extraordinary and decisive lockdown. There, in a matter of 10 days each, two well-equipped hospitals have been built up with 2,500 beds to accommodate severely ill patients.

Cui also praised the unsung heroes, such as medical workers who chose to drink less or even no water so that they will remove the protective suits and use the bathroom less often, as the suits have to be disposed of once taken off.

As a result, the rapid rise has been contained in the novel coronavirus cases in Wuhan.

The number of newly confirmed cases peaked at 3,910 on Feb 13 and dropped to 313 on Feb 27, while the number of newly cured patients discharged from hospital has exceeded that of the newly confirmed cases for the eighth consecutive day since Feb 20, Liang Wannian, head of the Chinese expert panel on outbreak response and disposal, said at a news conference Friday.

As a responsible country, China has also erected a Great Wall of disease prevention for the world, Cui noted in the article.

“We have been releasing the disease-related information in an open, transparent and responsible manner. We have kept updating the WHO about the latest developments and shared with it and other countries the full sequence of the coronavirus genome,” he said.

Cui quoted WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as saying that “in many ways, China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response.”

The ambassador expressed gratitude to all the acts of compassion and kindness from across the world, including from many American companies, organizations and people.

“We deeply appreciate your gesture of solidarity and goodwill, and we take it to our heart,” he wrote. “We are ready to repay the kindness shown to us by offering assistance to the countries and regions where the epidemic is taking a toll.”

However, the envoy said it was regretful that China, which is fighting the visible virus from nature, is also under attack from invisible, man-made viruses out there, noting that some people have put their political agenda above public interests and common sense, and they are desperately spreading a “political virus”.

Turning a blind eye to the fact that the Chinese people have been effectively mobilized under the CPC leadership and that the Party members are leading the work, these people are provoking ideological biases and clamoring for unnecessary overreactions, Cui wrote.

Still, there are those who are stirring up panic and even instigating racial discrimination and xenophobia and disseminating an “information virus” by fabricating and spreading rumors.

“Compared with the coronavirus, these invisible viruses are more poisonous and harmful, as they are attacking the leading force of the epidemic control in an attempt to break down our line of defense,” Cui noted. “They are simply the accomplice of the visible virus we are fighting.”

As important members of this global village and the world’s two biggest economies, China and the United States need to cooperate to address global challenges and problems. The interests of the 1.7 billion Chinese and American people and of the 8 billion world population are at stake, Cui wrote.

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