By John Okeke
Chinese President Xi Jinping has written back to Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, after receiving a letter from the U.S. business leader on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This was contained in a Newsletter signed by Mr. SUN Saixiong
Press Officer Embassy of China in Nigeria and made available to The Authority.
In his letter dated Feb. 20, the Chinese president wrote: “I deeply appreciate the act of generosity of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and your letter of solidarity to the Chinese people at such an important moment.”
Gates said in his letter on Feb. 6 that his foundation has committed up to 100 million U.S. dollars in emergency funding, much of which will help China bolster epidemiological research, emergency intervention, and the research and development of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics.
“Since the outbreak began, I have called for confidence, unity, science-based approach and targeted response as guidelines for China’s epidemic control efforts,” Xi wrote in the letter.
“We have rallied the whole nation and adopted a string of unprecedented measures to contain and mitigate the epidemic and treat the sick,” Xi wrote, adding that these extraordinary measures are delivering substantial results.
“We are resolute in protecting the life and health of the people of China, and of all countries around the world. We are determined to do our part to uphold global public health security,” Xi added.
Noting that mankind is a community with a shared future, Xi wrote that to prevail over a disease that threatens all, unity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon.
“The Foundation has been quick in joining the global action and has played an active role in the global response against the outbreak,” Xi noted.
“I support your cooperation with relevant Chinese institutions, and look forward to enhanced coordination and concerted efforts in the international community for the sake of health and well-being of all,” Xi added.
In the same vein, at the press briefing given by the State Council inter-agency task force on COVID-19 outbreak on the afternoon of 23 February, Mi Feng, an NHC spokesperson, said that between 00:00 and 24:00, 22 February, 18 confirmed cases, 251 suspected cases and 1 fatal case were newly reported outside Hubei and the number of severe cases down by 45. New confirmed cases dropped below five or to zero in all provinces other than Hubei. The number of new confirmed cases outside Hubei dropped from the Peak of 890 to 18 on 22 February, showing a fluctuating downward trend. 16 provinces and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps haven’t seen any new confirmed cases for more than two consecutive days.