Solidarity, cooperation indispensable to battle against novel coronavirus

By He Yin


In the face of public health crisis, all countries should unite as one and cooperate with each other to ride out the storm.


Since the outbreak of the epidemic of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), there has been a growing awareness of the importance of solidarity and cooperation in the international community.


On Feb.4, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres called for strong international solidarity and strong support for China and other countries that might be impacted in the difficult circumstances of the current coronavirus epidemic.


On the same day, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO) called on all countries to share accurate information about the epidemic with WHO and the world.


“We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together,” Tedros said, stressing that all countries should work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation.


To work together to fight the epidemic, countries should have a correct understanding of why the WHO declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).


In recent years, the WHO has declared multiple outbreaks of epidemic as PHEIC. The aim of such move is to mobilize more international resources to fight epidemic.


In the meantime, the WHO has tried to coordinate actions of various countries by releasing temporary recommendations, intending to avoid overreactions of some countries.


Restrictions on trade and travel imposed by some countries may increase fear and are of little benefit to public health, according to the WHO, which said it would seek clarification on the reasons for the restrictive measures taken by relevant countries.


The international community should respect the professional and authoritative recommendations of the WHO and devote themselves to fighting the current public health crisis through cooperation.


Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government has taken unprecedented strict prevention and control measures, the standards of which far exceed WHO recommendations and International Health Regulations requirements.


The WHO applauded China for its efforts in combating the epidemic as saying it is setting a new standard for outbreak response.


According to reports, in 2009, the A/H1N1 swine flu originated in the U.S. caused over 1.63 million infection cases, 284,500 deaths, with a mortality rate of 17.4 percent.


With the unremitting efforts of China in fighting the novel coronavirus, the 2019-nCoV mortality rate in China is about 2.1 percent, much lower than that of previous epidemics. Besides, since Feb.1, cured cases of infections began to outnumber deaths.


According to a WHO report on the current epidemic released on Feb.3, there are altogether 153 confirmed cases of infections caused by the novel coronavirus outside China, which is less than 1 percent of the number in China. The novel coronavirus epidemic has not become a “pandemic”, said WHO.


What China has shown the world in tackling the current crisis is the strength of solidarity and cooperation. It is a consensus among the international community that China’s efforts have effectively contained the spread of the virus to other countries.


The human race is a whole when facing virus outbreaks, and epidemic is a common challenge confronting mankind. Every time when there is a PHEIC, we see heart-touching scenes of concerted efforts of the international community.


In 2014 when the Ebola virus hit Africa, the international community immediately provided assistance for the countries and regions in need. As the first among all countries to offer emergency supplies and send medical teams to the affected areas, China was widely praised for its efforts.


After the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, many countries and international organizations have offered support and assistance for China in various ways, saying they share the weal and woe with China.


Burj Khalifa was recently lit up in red in solidarity with China over coronavirus. Equatorial Guinea, the country with a population of only 1.3 million, donated $2 million to China. In addition, people and enterprises from all over the world have actively donated and transported medical supplies to China. All these efforts have proven that human beings are a community with a shared future.


As Chinese often say, unity is iron, steel and strength. The world is fighting the epidemic together with the Chinese people and all people in every corner of the world who have been affected by the novel coronavirus


The WHO is working hard on promoting international solidarity and cooperation amid the crisis. In the world where everyone is closely interconnected in the tide of globalization, only by working together, can countries around the world effectively contain the spread of the epidemic, safeguard common wellbeing of each country, and eventually guarantee tranquility of all mankind.


Source: People’s Daily