“Those who fight on the frontline in a war against a common enemy deserve our respect.” That’s a statement made by a world-renowned epidemiologist to hail China’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. It indicates the global recognition of China’s sacrifices and contributions in responding to the pandemic.
COVID-19 is a major public health emergency with the fastest spread and the widest range of infections, and has been the most difficult to prevent and control in China since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.
An important reason for China’s success to contain the virus in a short time is that the country has always timely released information to the world and the society in an open, transparent and responsible manner.
The country promptly reported the epidemic to the World Health Organization (WHO), shared the genetic sequencing information of the virus with global countries, and reported research progress on medical magazines. It also published seven editions of COVID-19 treatment plans and six editions of prevention and control plans, and timely released pathology reports on the virus and information on vaccine research and development.
China’s transparent and open containment process was compared by some to a livesteam broadcasted to the world.
On December 27, 2019, Zhang Jixian, a respiratory specialist at the Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine in Wuhan, first reported three suspected cases she had received.
Three days later, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an urgent notification to medical institutions under its jurisdiction, ordering efforts to appropriately treat patients with pneumonia of unknown cause. On Dec.31, the National Health Commission sent an expert team to Wuhan to conduct on-site investigations. Starting Jan. 3, 2020, China has been regularly informing the WHO and relevant countries, including the U.S., about the pneumonia outbreak.
From finding the first infected case to responding to the epidemic, every step China has taken is traceable and totally open.
“China locked down Wuhan on Jan. 23, which was unprecedented. If such a red alert couldn’t wake you up, then you must be pretending to sleep,” a media outlet commented.
China “did a lot of things right” at the beginning of the pandemic, said Bill Gates.
COVID-19 is a new type of disease, and it is called “the most cunning virus” by experts. It’s not easy to be tested. Its incubation period is long, and it changes a lot.
The understanding and study of the virus need a process. Any responsible country shall not rashly define the virus without having adequate and effective evidence. There is no refuge in this world when infectious diseases occur and it is impossible, unnecessary and intolerable for China to conceal or delay its pandemic response.
Starting January, Chinese experts have published more than 1,100 academic papers about COVID-19 in English-language journals, sharing the research results of the epidemiological characteristics of the virus with the international medical community without reservation. The country has also set up its online COVID-19 knowledge center that is open to all countries.
These precious achievements, which cost numerous lives, provide experiences for countries to fight against the pandemic and help save the lives of thousands of people around the world.
“China’s generosity deserves the gratitude of other countries,” said Patti Djalal, founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia.
“China’s quick and thorough action has amazed everyone,” The Guardian said in an article, praising China’s openness and transparency in sharing anti-pandemic information.
On April 17, Wuhan issued a notification on revising the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the city.
At the early stage of the epidemic, a surging number of patients overwhelmed medical resources and the admission capacity of medical institutions; a few medical institutions were not linked to the epidemic information network and failed to report their data in time; and some patients stayed home out of the fear for infection. These all resulted in belated, missed, mistaken and repeated reporting, which later caused data discrepancies.
However, no one attempted to hide the data, or dared to make such illegal practice.
After all the conditions were met for a comprehensive verification, Wuhan immediately carried out statistical investigation and revision, which reflected a scientific attitude of the country that is responsible for history, the people and the deceased.
Rumors could confuse people for a while, but justice is never absent. Many countries and international organizations have highly lauded China’s containment measures and transparency that has accompanied all along.
When China imposed a lockdown in Wuhan, there were only a few confirmed cases abroad, some media outlets commented, adding that those who criticized China for the spread of COVID-19 in their own country should feel ashamed of themselves.
People with foresight could see through that the purpose of certain Western politicians who wantonly discredited and slandered China is to whitewash themselves and pass the buck to others.
The WHO has repeatedly warned that smearing other countries and their people is more dangerous than the virus itself. As a matter of fact, the international community knows clearly that China’s battle against the epidemic is open, and it should stay vigilant to those accusing China of “concealing” because they are the one who really attempted to cover the truth.
There is only one Earth, and the parallel world doesn’t exist. The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is urgent and cooperation is the only solution. China will always respect science, follow the rules, and worship practice. It will always share information and experience, strengthen cooperation, and promote countries around the world to work side by side and jointly safeguard the common homeland of mankind.