Forward of at present’s (13 February) Extraordinary assembly of European well being ministers to debate the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and associated measures, EU Reporter met the Chinese language Ambassador Cao Zhongming, to seek out out extra about China’s response and the way it was working along with worldwide companions.
Q: What measures China has taken in response to Covid-19?
The sudden outbreak of Covid-19 is a problem for China. After the outbreak, the Chinese language authorities rapidly and vigorously adopted a number of stringent and complete measures. We arrange the Central Main Group on responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and established a complete, multi-tier prevention and management system comprising the central and native governments.
Q: How has China been interacting with the exterior world, together with the WHO?
After the onset of the epidemic, China has carried out worldwide co-operation in an open, clear and accountable method. China notified the worldwide neighborhood, together with the WHO, of the outbreak as quickly as potential. Inside per week, Chinese language researchers shared the genetic sequence of the Covid-19 with WHO and different nations, enabling fast improvement of diagnostic reagents and vaccines. Each day updates of the epidemic have been additionally supplied. Efforts by the Chinese language authorities have been nicely obtained by the WHO and the worldwide neighborhood. Whereas making the utmost efforts to comprise the epidemic, China is able to work along with worldwide companions to struggle shoulder–to–shoulder and win the battle in opposition to the outbreak.
Q: What was the response of EU nations to the epidemic? Have they supplied assist or experience?
The outbreak has obtained nice consideration from EU nations. The European Fee President Von der Leyen and Premier Li Keqiang spoke on the telephone to help China’s struggle in opposition to the epidemic. The EU rapidly coordinated member states to supply China with 12 tons of urgently wanted provides for epidemic prevention and management. German, British, French, Belgian authorities officers and other people from throughout the society have additionally expressed their sympathies and help to China. The EU is skilled within the public well being area. Virus analysis institutes and consultants actively observe and take part within the struggle in opposition to the epidemic. We thank the EU for its help and cooperation. I imagine that with the help of the worldwide neighborhood, together with the European Union, China will win this battle.
Q: Whereas lives are the first lack of this epidemic, it’ll additionally incur financial prices. Will it additionally have an effect on the European financial system?
Our most essential process is to win the struggle in opposition to the epidemic, and on the identical time scale back its influence on the financial system. The epidemic will inevitably have some results on China’s commerce, SMEs, business and provide chain. Nonetheless, within the medium and long run, China’s financial fundamentals are sound and its momentum of fast development won’t change. We’re assured that after overcoming the epidemic, we’ll take efficient measures to revive and promote financial development as quickly as potential. Within the context of globalization, China and EU take pleasure in shut cooperation. Adjustments in China’s financial system will have an effect on Europe, however it’s only non permanent and controllable. After the epidemic has handed, cooperation between China and the EU can be as shut as earlier than and the expansion momentum can be rapidly restored.
Q: Is it too early to say what classes have been discovered from this outbreak?
The precedence continues to be to struggle the epidemic. The outbreak has occurred for a while, and now we have drawn some useful classes from the response efforts. The primary is now we have mobilized assets nationwide in response to the epidemic. Second, now we have intensified efforts and prioritized assets provision to probably the most affected areas – this time the epicenter of Hubei and Wuhan. We additionally adopted inter-agency and complete prevention and management measures to make sure that work is superior all throughout the nation. The third is to work with the worldwide neighborhood in an open, clear and accountable method within the face of public well being emergencies. That is additionally what now we have discovered from SARS in 2003. Fourth, we should observe the skilled and authoritative suggestions of the World Well being Group, and chorus from taking extreme measures, and take proportionate and rational measures. This may assist construct confidence and never trigger panic.
Q: Some European nations have issued journey recommendation for nationals to keep away from nonessential journeys to Hubei. When can these measures be lifted?
WHO has repeatedly advised in opposition to and is even against extreme journey and commerce restrictions. We imagine that nations ought to observe the suggestions of the World Well being Group. We respect rational and science-based precautionary measures taken by nations. The state of affairs is step by step enhancing in China. New circumstances outdoors Wuhan in Hubei province have declined for six consecutive days (5-11 February). After the state of affairs improves, it’s hoped that nations will return to regular practices.