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Spokesperson of Chinese Embassy in India Counselor Ji Rong refuted some media blaming China for so-called concealment of Covid-19 situation
2020/04/04

Q: The current situation of Covid-19 pandemic is severe, and some media blame China for concealing the real situation of Covid-19 which led to its spread to the world. What's your comment on this?

A: The Chinese Government has always maintained an open and transparent attitude on releasing and sharing epidemic information. The coronavirus is a novel virus unseen in the past, its detection, research, testing and confirmation naturally requires time. It is true that Wuhan city in China was where COVID-19 cases were first reported. But where and when exactly did this virus originate? We have read many reports and findings on that. The Chinese Government's position has been consistent that the origin of the virus requires scientific, fact-based and professional assessment made by experts.

The timeline of China's response is very clear. On December 27, 2019, a doctor in Hubei province reported the first three suspected cases. On December 29, related centers for disease control and prevention and hospitals in Hubei province and Wuhan city carried out epidemiological investigation. On December 30, Wuhan Municipal Health Committee issued an "urgent notice on the treatment of pneumonia of unknown cause". On December 31, the National Health Commission sent an expert group to Wuhan to investigate on site. On January 3, 2020, China started to send timely updates to the World Health Organization and other countries. On January 11, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention uploaded five whole genome sequences of the novel coronavirus on website and shared data with the world and WHO. On January 23, Wuhan was put under lockdown and unprecedented comprehensive, thorough and rigorous measures were adopted.

It should be noticed that after the outbreak of COVID-19, China has been racing against time to fight the virus and contain its spread resolutely. The Chinese Government took the unprecedented, decisive and strong prevention and control measures at the earliest time possible, which have been proven to be highly effective at the current stage. Our efforts bought precious time for the world to prepare for the pandemic. Chinese Government has always been open, transparent and responsible in all its efforts, including publishing daily updates in a timely manner. China has also responded to other countries' concerns, actively conducted international cooperation and provided help to others.

Just as WHO puts it, China has taken the most courageous, most flexible and most active prevention and control measures, which altered the dangerous course of the virus' quick spread and prevented hundreds of thousands of infections nationwide. The authoritative journal Science published a paper by researchers in the United States, the UK and other countries saying that China's control measures worked by successfully breaking the chain of transmission and bought other countries valuable time, without the Wuhan travel ban and the national emergency response by the Chinese Government, there would have been more than 700,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of Wuhan by February 19. The Lancet's editor recently also said on BBC that "the message from China is very clear...we wasted February when we could have acted".

Faced with the pandemic, the destinies of all countries are closely intertwined. It would only waste more valuable time by slandering others or shifting the blame. We should discard the differences of ideology and social system, take full account of humanitarian spirit, devote our time and energy in fighting against the pandemic and saving lives, so as to defeat the pandemic as soon as possible. China stands ready to further international cooperation in fighting the pandemic and sharing experiences with other countries. We should join hands and work together to defeat the virus as soon as possible and safeguard regional and global public health security.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit recently, "at this moment, it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response. We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease".

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