FULL TEXT: China Has Been Transparent, Unreserved And Timely In Communicating Crucial Components Of Its COVID-19 Fighting Strategy - Chinese Ambassador
In a statement published by the Daily News, the Chinese Ambassador has said correct information is as vital as drugs in the midst of a dire pandemic like the COVID-19 pandemic. Ambassador Guo said its high time the blame game ends and people should start sharing ideas, knowledge and information to help each other out of the deadly pandemic.
Read Ambassador Guo Shaochun’s statement below:
From the very onset of Covid-19, China has made unreserved, transparent, and timely communication a crucial component of its fighting strategy.Feedback
While it was hard enough just to mount a sufficient response to such an unknown pandemic, China has been doing its best to ensure that the world knows what’s happening, what’s going to happen, and what’s about to happen.
China has been keeping its public well informed. Immediately after cases of pneumonia of unknown cause were detected in Hubei in late December 2019, China acted swiftly within one week to alert medical institutions, send experts from its capital to Hubei to collect information and guide the response, advise the public to wear masks and avoid public gathering, and start regular briefings. All happened within a few days when China did not have the luxury of enough knowledge about this disease or its extent of threat, like many governments do today. Up till today on 16 April 2020, 81 press briefings have been held by the inter-ministerial task force to address questions from pandemic control and vaccine development to almost every social and economic aspect affected by the outbreak.
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The number of such briefings given by local governments are uncountable.
China has been keeping the WHO, the world’s leading specialised agency in health care, well informed. As early as on January 3, China has been regularly sharing information with the WHO.
On January 9, the same day China identified a new type of coronavirus as the cause, it shared this knowledge with the Organization. The next day, Ma Xiaowei, chief of China’s National Health Commission, phoned Dr. Tedros to talk about the response.
Two days later on January 12, China submitted to the WHO the genome sequence of the virus. From January 20 to 21, experts from WHO China and WHO Western Pacific Region conducted a field visit to Wuhan to learn about the response to 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
From February 16 to 24, the China-WHO Joint Mission with two American experts on board conducted their made a nine-day field trip in China. Was the information fully shared during the trip? Let me share here is a passage from the of Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):
“The Joint Mission began with a detailed workshop with representatives of all of the principal ministries that are leading and/or contributing to the response in China through the National Prevention and Control Task Force.
A series of in-depth meetings were then conducted with national level institutions responsible for the management, implementation and evaluation of the response, particularly the National Health Commission and the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).
To gain first-hand knowledge on the field level implementation and impact of the national and local response strategy, under a range of epidemiologic and provincial contexts, visits were conducted to Beijing Municipality and the provinces of Sichuan (Chengdu), Guangdong (Guangzhou, Shenzhen) and Hubei (Wuhan).
Provincial Governors, municipal Mayors, their emergency operations teams, senior scientists, frontline clinical, public health and community workers, and community neighbourhood administrators.The Joint Mission concluded with working sessions to consolidate findings, generate conclusions and propose suggested actions.”
In the same report, one of the recommendations for countries with imported cases and/or outbreaks of Covid-19 is to immediately activate the highest level of national response management protocols to ensure the all-of-government and all-of-society approach needed to contain Covid-19 with non-pharmaceutical public health measures.
It is perfectly clear that from the day the pathogen was uncovered till today when a coherent strategy has been developed, China has been always making made sure that the WHO is fully aware what we are dealing with so that information and professional advice can be readily given to other governments.
China has been keeping other governments well informed. Beginning from late January, the Chinese top leadership has been engaging their counterparts in France, Germany, the European Union, the United States and many other countries around the world on the outbreak. China has timely shared with the world the whole gene sequence, primers and probes of the coronavirus, and shared diagnosis and treatment guidelines and other technical documents with more than 100 countries. The communication between China and the US is a good example.
On 3 January, 19 days before the first confirmed case was reported in the US, China began to send timely updates not only to WHO, but also countries including the United States. On January 4, heads of Chinese and American centers for disease control and prevention spoke on the phone. The two sides agreed to keep close communication on information sharing and technical cooperation. On January 25, President Trump tweeted that China has been working very hard to contain the coronavirus. The US greatly appreciated China’s efforts and transparency. On January 27, principal health officials from China and the United States spoke on the phone. The US side expressed appreciation of over the Chinese government’s transparency in response to the outbreak and the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the health sector. On January 29, China’s National Health Commission talked to the US side through official channel that the US was welcome to join the China-WHO Joint Mission on Covid-19. The US side expressed thanks on the same day. On February 7, Chinese and US presidents had a phone conversation. President Trump made positive comments on China’s response to the outbreak and tweeted on the same day that great discipline was taking place in China and it would will be a very successful operation. The US was working closely with China.
On February 8, principal officials of Chinese and American health authorities had another discussion over arrangements regarding the participation of US experts in the China-WHO Joint Mission. On February 11, principal officials of Chinese and American centers for disease control and prevention discussed technical issues in epidemiology as well as prevention and control strategies. From February 16 to 24, the China-WHO Joint Mission with two American experts on board conducted their nine-day field trip in China. On March 12, the US embassy in China was invited to attend a briefing on China’s experience in Covid-19 prevention and treatment, which was jointly held by the NHC and WHO. On March 13, President Trump told reporters that the data China shared are helpful for the US efforts against the epidemic.
Wuhan’s lockdown must be mentioned. On 23 January, China announced that put Wuhan started being put under lockdown and unprecedented thorough, comprehensive and rigorous measures measure were adopted. Such an unprecedented measure is not only a brave action, but also the strongest and clearest warning to the world on the severity of the epidemic.
China has been keeping the world’s science community well informed. In January, a team led by Yong-Zhen Zhang, of the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre & School of Public Health, published the initial viral genome on two open-access sites, drawing praise for the swiftest sequencing effort ever. Later that month, Chinese doctors and scientists reported the first description of the new disease in the Lancet medical journal. “Under immense pressure, as the epidemic exploded around them, they took time to write up their findings in a foreign language and seek publication in a medical journal thousands of miles away. Their rapid and rigorous work was an urgent warning to the world. We owe those scientists enormous thanks,” said Richard Horton, Lancet editor. Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health in the University of Southampton noted, “The Chinese have been leading the way in publishing open-access evidence on case management, genomics and numerous areas of public health and epidemiology, which has been vital in informing the response in more or less every country.”
Surprisingly, with all the information made available by China, we began to hear accusations that China is withholding information. Some question China’s death rates. As a matter of fact, in some western countries, there are also huge differences in mortality rates, ranging from 0.1% to more than 10%. And which country can guarantee that its data is exactly 100 percent accurate? For the general public, too academic academic explanations may explanation is not be easily understood to understand.. Let’s take a look at the more than 3,000 African students in Hubei.
During the outbreak of the epidemic, only one of them got infected but was quickly cured and the rest were all safe and sound. This is an easy fact to check, because their parents and relatives are in Africa, maybe around you. To see the whole through a small part is not only Chinese philosophy, but also wisdom worth sharing.
Covid-19 is a daunting challenge for all governments. Anxious to allay public fears and criticism, some find it
convenient to scapegoat others. Abhorrently, when the World Health Organization performs its duties responsibly, fairly and transparently, a few people even launched racial attacks on Dr. Tedros, one of the few Africans in a leading position in international organizations. Virus can undermine our health; but we cannot allow it to diminish our humanity.
Enough of this blame game. Let’s put our human intelligence to good use, share information, knowledge, expertise, and good practices, help each other out. Let the power of communication drive away all insidious viruses.
More: Daily News
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