Chinese Ambassador: “Joining Hands Together to Win the Battle against the Outbreak of Coronavirus”

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 7, 2020 11:22

By H.E.Mr. Zhou Ding, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Albania

At the beginning of 2020, an outbreak of novel coronavirus occurred in China. The Chinese government has taken the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures rapidly, which have achieved increasingly positive results. The entire nation is mobilized to take action in fighting the virus. More than 10,000 medical personnel from all over the country have gone to Hubei Province and Wuhan City, the most affected area, to help; medical supplies are constantly arriving; two brand new hospitals with 3,000 beds are built and put into use in just 10 days; the army has also rushed to the frontline. Tens of millions of citizens voluntarily reduce going outs to constrain the spread of the virus. With a strong system of infectious disease prevention and control, rich experience in responding to public health emergencies, and most of all, the support of the people both home and abroad, we are confident that we will win the battle against this epidemic soon.

Now, it’s important to underline that 99%  of the cases and fatalities are in China’s Hubei province. This is still first and foremost an emergency for China. China's maximum efforts to hold back the spread of the epidemic is a great contribution to global health security. Ever since the outbreak, China has actively and voluntarily initiated international cooperation. We notified and shared information with the World Health Organization from the first moment; The delegated experts by WHO went to Wuhan to monitor the situation closely. Many countries and WHO highly value China’s quick and strict measures in the response to the epidemic. During his visit to China, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, General Director of WHO, saluted China's preventive and controlling works. Mr António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, spoke highly of the efforts made by the Chinese government, expressing his full confidence in China's ability to control the epidemic.

On January 30, WHO declared the epidemic to be a "public health emergency of international concern"(PHEIC). Dr. Ghebreyesus stated during the press conference that the Chinese government has taken extraordinary measures to deter the epidemic; China's speed of identifying, acquiring and sequencing virus genes and sharing this information with WHO and the world, its openness and transparency, as well as its determination to support other countries, are impressive. China has set a benchmark in many aspects. He stressed that making this declaration is not a vote of no confidence towards China, on the contrary, the WHO consistently have faith in China's ability to defeat the epidemic.

Since the International Health Regulations entered into force in 2007, WHO has defined some epidemics such as H1N1 originated in the United States and Mexico in 2009, and Ebola in West Africa in 2014 as PHEIC. It aims to mobilize more international resources in response to epidemics.

In the past days, WHO has repeatedly emphasized that, there is no reason for unnecessary measures such as interfering with international travels and trade, countries should counter the spread of rumors and misinformation, and ensure all the people receive accurate, reliable information to protect themselves and their families; governments should implement evidence-based decisions; imposing restrictions inconsistent with the International Health Regulations could lead to unnecessary and negative impacts.

Facing global challenge of epidemics, no country is immune alone. The only way to defeat epidemics is that all countries make efforts in solidarity, to unite as one and respond together. In the next phase, China will continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the WHO and various countries in confining the spread of the virus and in research on vaccine development and treatment, to prevent and control the epidemic. I should say that the relevant public health institutions here in Albania are very professional. They are taking necessary measures based on scientific analysis and referring to the recommendations of WHO.

True friendship lies in difficult times.When dealing with this epidemic, China has received widespread support from the international community, including countries like Albania. The president of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping, reiterating Albania’s continued solidarity with China and the Chinese people; Prime Minister, Edi Rama, and Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Gramoz Ruçi sent messages to their Chinese counterparts extending their best wishes to China. Prime Minister Rama says that “Having just survived the davastating earthquake of last November, and with our wounds still open, we are painfully aware of the importance of solidarity and support between peoples and nations in trying times.” I really appreciate his remarks. Many ordinary Albanian friends have also expressed their support and good wishes to the Chinese people in various ways. Some Albanian students studying in China have made objective presentations to the media about what they have experienced in China. All of these are reflection of the sincere friendship between our two countries.

Albania remains a country with low risk of exposure to the epidemic. The Chinese Embassy is maintaining close communication with Albanian public health institutions in response to the epidemic. For the moment there are very limited number of Albanian citizens in China, the Chinese government and people will make every effort to maintain their security and address their concerns.

Lastly, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to all the lost lives and my best wishes to their beloved ones. I would also like to pay my tribute to the heroic doctors and nurses on the frontline and all those who have been working tirelessly in fighting the epidemic, both in China and around the world. I believe that together, we will win this battle soon!

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 7, 2020 11:22