All out effort by China to check virus spread, says envoy

James Kon

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong answered questions from the Bulletin about the recent epidemic of the outbreak of the pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus in China.

Q: How is the development of the outbreak of the pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus? What kind of measures have been taken by the Chinese Government?

A: The Chinese people are fighting against the outbreak of novel coronavirus seriously. On January 25, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and made a full arrangement for preventing and controlling the novel coronavirus outbreak. On January 27, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Wuhan to inspect and guide the work for curbing the spread  of contagion.

The Chinese Government is making full use of its system advantage, establishing a complete national system of prevention and control. All the measures have been undertaken effectively and scientifically in the principle of openness and transparency. In general, the novel coronavirus epidemic can be prevented, controlled and cured.

Wuhan and some cities in Hubei province have taken strict measures to control the flow of people to prevent the spread of the virus.

Other provinces in China have provided a large number of medical personnel and supplies to support Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province, effectively easing the pressure on the epidemic prevention work in Hubei. The screening ability and diagnosis speed have rapidly improved with this, and the number of patients cured and discharged gradually increased. Two new hospitals are being built day and night in Wuhan and one of them is expected to be in operation in early February, which will further help the city to cope effectively with the disease.

People from all over China are cooperating with prevention and control measures to strengthen self-protection during the Chinese New Year holiday. Local governments have extended holidays and postponed school openings. The Chinese Government gives top priority to the safety of people’s lives and their health and is also fully concerned with the safety and health of all foreign nationals in China. Chinese embassies and consulates abroad have worked hard to provide consular services to Chinese citizens overseas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has strengthened communication with diplomatic missions in China. The Chinese Government’s efforts to deal with the outbreak are supported by the international community. Currently, the prevention and control of the epidemic is at a critical stage, and we have the confidence to defeat the outbreak.

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI

Q: We noticed that the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) visited China recently. Could you brief on the visit? How is the Chinese Government cooperating with the international society?

A: At the invitation of the Chinese Government, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO)Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited China recently. On January 28, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Tedros. During the meeting, President Xi said China, in an open, transparent and responsible manner, has released information about the epidemic, responded to concerns of all sides actively, and enhanced cooperation with the  international community.

As WHO plays an important role in coordinating global public health affairs, China attaches great importance to the cooperation with WHO. WHO is welcome to participate in the epidemic containment, and experts from WHO have already visited Wuhan. China is willing to work with WHO as well as the international community to safeguard regional and global public health security.

Tedros appreciated China’s information release in the spirit of “openness and transparency”, as well as the seriousness and actions with which China is taking for this outbreak. China’s measures are not only for the protection of its own people, but also for the protection of people around the world. It is because of China’s effective measures that those infected outside China only account for one per cent of all cases and no deaths outside China have been reported up to now. Tedros also said WHO will make assessments based on science and facts. WHO speaks highly of China’s major role in contributing to the global public health, and is ready to conduct further strategic cooperation with China.

On the same day, WHO said it will send international experts to visit China as soon as possible to increase the understanding of the novel coronavirus and to guide global response efforts.

Q: How are the Chinese tourists in Brunei? Were there any confirmed cases of novel coronavirus among Chinese tourists? What kind cooperation have China and Brunei carried out in terms of prevention and control?

A: The Spring Festival break is a peak period for outbound travels of Chinese tourists. To better prevent and control the epidemic, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China has completely suspended the business operation of travel agencies as of January 24. For tour groups that had arrived in Brunei before that date, the Chinese Embassy has maintained close contact with the major travel agencies in Brunei, making sure all Chinese tourists are well-informed on health precautions.

On January 24, the Chinese Embassy was informed by the Ministry of Health of Brunei that a Chinese tourist was in the hospital for fever. After tests for novel coronavirus arrived on the same day, she was confirmed to have a common cold. Thanks to the thoughtful arrangement made by the Brunei public health institutions, she was well-treated and made a safe trip back home. The tourist and her family expressed their heartfelt thanks for the care and kindness they received in Brunei.

It is worth noting that during the lab test, China and Brunei had close cooperation which ensured a rapid and accurate diagnosis. The testing kit used by the Ministry of Health was provided by Chinese BGI Company (a third party testing organisation designated by the Chinese National Health Commission). The prompt provision of testing kits by the Chinese company to Brunei, demonstrates the resolute determination of the Chinese Government and enterprises to fight against the epidemic hand in hand with the international community. It also shows the further exploration of China-Brunei cooperation. China will further cooperate with Brunei to safeguard the health and safety of the people.