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Opinion
Act Together, Act Now
The epidemic will be controlled as long as everyone pulls together and encourages one another
Editorial  ·  2020-03-22  ·   Source: NO.13 MARCH 26, 2020

China is part of the global campaign against the novel coronavirus pandemic. When it faced a critical situation, the international community stood behind it, providing moral and material support. Now that the situation is under control in China but deteriorating in some countries, the Chinese authorities are reciprocating the support by urgently sending medical teams, supplies and sharing information.

The Chinese achievement in containing the disease can provide a valuable lesson to other countries where the infection is on the rise. This has been acknowledged by international health organizations repeatedly. On March 16, Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization (WHO) China representative who had been on an assessment visit to Wuhan in central China, where the outbreaks were reported earlier this year, told UN News, "This lesson in containment [in China], therefore, is a lesson that other countries can learn from and adapt for their own circumstances."

Galea, like other WHO officials, also highlighted the "high price" paid by Wuhan's residents as the city of 11 million people was put on lockdown, "thus 'buying time' for the rest of China and the world."

However, he also indicated that some countries, even while facing the disease on their doorstep, had not learned from the experience in China, saying, "Very few countries are manifesting any greater speed in action."

While some countries have put in place effective containment and medical measures, some are busy launching politically motivated attacks and imposing trade curbs on others. This is bound to endanger their own people as well as the entire world.

It can't be reiterated often enough that viruses are the enemy of the whole globe and don't choose their victims based on ethnicity, nationality or race. That's why the international community should band together to fight the virus as a common enemy.

There is still no scientific proof of how the disease originated and spread. But there is proof incontrovertible of the comprehensive approach taken by the Chinese Government and civil society to contain the virus, though at a great cost to themselves. And the measures were shared with the international community in a transparent and timely manner, which helped accelerate research and development of medicines and vaccines in several countries. Those who criticize China for the outbreak ignore the sacrifice China made for them to gain time to map out their own virus control strategy well in advance.

It is not too late to act now. The history of human civilization is also the history of fighting diseases unitedly. The infection can be contained if the basic precautions are taken. Besides, the recovery of a large number of patients in China shows there is no cause for panic. As long as everyone pulls together and encourages one another, this virus too will be controlled like other diseases before it.

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