The Coronavirus influenza outbreak has set hazard to the global public since its recent outbreak in China. 2019-nCoV has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the WHO; a global emergency that calls for integrated actions. We spoke to the Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Yang Zigang, for updates in this regard.
- Thank you for your time Your Excellency. The international community is attaching great importance to the 2019-nCoV outbreak in China. We would like to know what China is doing to contain the epidemic.
Since the outbreak of the 2019-nCoV, the Chinese government has attached great importance to the prevention and control of the epidemic and has taken it as the most important work of the government and people. President Xi Jinping has made several important instructions and chaired the meeting of Standing Committee of the Central Political Bureau of CPC to research the situation and measures. The Chinese government has established a top leading group to deal with the epidemic prevention and control by its full strength. A comprehensive and multi-level system has been built, which mainly focuses on Wuhan city and Hubei province and covers from the central to all provinces all over the country. All aspects of work are open and transparent with all progress being scientifically and orderly made. With China’s institutional advantages and previous useful experience, as well as its strong scientific and technological material foundation accumulated in the past 70 years, the Chinese government has the determination, confidence and ability to win the struggle against this epidemic.
- China is claiming that even if it may not completely eliminate the virus, it will be containing it in not more than the coming ten days.
That is true. We forecast a reduction of the epidemic by the 10th of February. We have taken strict measures and with the collaboration of the Chinese Leadership, Government, People and the International Community the outbreak will definitely be contained.
- It’s a frantic situation, no doubt, in China and in nine days hospitals were built. Can you tell us how the people in China are reacting and contributing towards the efforts to restrain the spread of the virus?
All Chinese people have shown a positive spirit of cooperation based on instructions issued by the Central Government. People are united and confident that they will get over this epidemic. Communities and institutions have mobilized their human resources and manpower in the joint effort of containment. And their speed and dedication is to commend.
- This is surely a global hazard; what is China doing to address the issue on the international platform?
China has taken the initiative to carry out international cooperation in a highly responsible manner. It reports the epidemic situation to WHO as soon as possible and shares the whole genome sequence of the virus and other information. China’s overseas agencies also keep in close touch with the governments of countries where they are stationed and share the epidemic situation and control efforts of China. Many countries as well as WHO have made positive comments on China’s efforts and given full understanding and support to China’s prevention and control measures, which are highly appreciated by the Chinese side.
Faced with severe and complex epidemic situation, China has taken strong and powerful measures that no other country can achieve. The Chinese government will fulfill its international obligations and promptly address the legitimate concerns of foreign citizens in China to safeguard their safety in a responsible manner.
- How about the China-Eritrea cooperation on the issue of prevention and control of the 2019-nCoV?
The Chinese Embassy in the State of Eritrea has always been keeping close touch with the Eritrea government and doing its best to cooperate with the latter to prevent and control the virus since its outbreak. Now the Chinese Embassy has already instructed its staff members as well as all the Chinese enterprises’ staff to postpone their trips until the epidemic is controlled. For anyone who has already been back from China, the Chinese embassy also requests that they be self-quarantined for 14 days at home. Meanwhile, the embassy has made an announcement on its website to alert all Chinese people not to travel to Eritrea. The Chinese embassy is glad to see that the Eritrean government has already been well aware of the 2019-nCoV risk and has taken appropriate measures to ensure the safety of its people. China and Eritrea are good friends, good partners and good brothers. At this time, the understanding and confidence of the Eritrean government and people about the Chinese government and people is the most precious support to the Chinese side. The Chinese embassy will do its best to work fully with the Eritrean side to battle the spread of the virus.
- Do you see any harm that this outbreak might cause to the global economy or China?
China mostly benefits from its local economy. The main driving force of the Chinese economy is, in fact, domestic consumption. To that end, I strongly believe that soon the same drive of the Chinese economy will be resumed to the normal status. Furthermore, I believe that the impact on the global economy is very little. The expected increase in economy will be met regardless by the end of the year.
- At the end, Mr. Ambassador, the Chinese leadership and representatives worldwide are giving their word to media outlets. What are you all trying to say? What do you want the world to know?
That the outbreak of this epidemic was unexpected. Things like this happened in the world from time to time. But what is most important is how we react to these critical junctures. Therefore, I call on our friends worldwide to get united and show their support so that we can get over it together, find treatments for this virus and stop its spread. After all, it is a common cause for all human kind.
- Thank you for your time, Mr. Ambassador!
You are most welcome. Thank you.