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Koon Yew Yin's Blog

Author: Koon Yew Yin   |   Latest post: Fri, 10 Apr 2020, 8:55 AM

 

WHO head praises China and Xi Jinping for controlling Coronavirus outbreak - Koon Yew Yin

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Many political leaders, especially the US President Donald Trump, criticised China for not doing enough to control the spread of the Coronavirus. When Trump first heard about the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, Hebei province, he said it was good for our economy and many of our American companies could come back to operate.

Trump declared trade war with China and has imposed higher import duty for Chinese goods. Little did he realised that almost all the goods in Walmart are made in China. As a result, the American consumers would have to pay higher prices. Trump does not even know that he is actually taxing the American consumers.   

 

In France a popular publication has a headline “Alerte Jaune” meaning yellow alert.

A German magazine Der Spiegel has a headline “Coronavirus made in China”

The worst of all is the Wall Street Journal which has a headline “China is the real sick man of Asia”.

At a difficult time like this, why should all these well-educated people behave so badly? Why should they be so insensitive? They should be expressing sympathy instead of ridiculing China.    

Imagine if Coronavirus broke out in USA or Europe. Could the Americans or Europeans do better than the Chinese?

Let me tell you what the world health Organisation said about China’s effort in controlling the Coronavirus.  

“This is a time for solidarity, not stigma,” Director General of WHO, Tedros said.

 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (right), director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), sitting next to Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies programme, at the coronavirus briefing on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: EPA-EFE

The head of the World Health Organisation defended his earlier praise of China’s response to the deadly coronavirus epidemic on Wednesday, questioning critics who disputed President Xi Jinping’s leadership.

At the agency’s daily briefing on the coronavirus – which causes the disease now named Covid-19 – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director general, said that Xi had shown the kind of “political commitment” and “political leadership” expected of countries facing a public health crisis.

Tedros made his remarks even while confirming that the Chinese government still has not approved the exact make-up of an advance team WHO wants to send to China to investigate the virus.

“We have met the [Chinese] president. We have seen the level of knowledge he has on the outbreak,” Tedros said at the headquarters of the United Nations health agency in Geneva, Switzerland. “Don’t you appreciate that kind of leadership? We don’t say anything to please anyone.”

Wednesday also marked the end of a two-day forum of 400 scientists and public health experts, both in person and online, to discuss the available information about Covid-19 and how to work together better to combat the disease.

Scientists were still working to identify the coronavirus’s sources in a bid to prevent further animal-to-human transmissions, Tedros said. The virus is also known to infect by means of human-to-human transmission

“Deeper investigations [will be carried out] to identify the source of the coronavirus to prevent further transmissions from animals to humans,” Tedros said, referring to the next step after the forum concluded.

The WHO was also developing master plans to make sure clinical trials would be conducted “coherently and consistently”, Tedros said.

Chinese experts joined the forum via teleconferencing, WHO officials said, hours after Xi in China described efforts to control the outbreak as having entered a critical stage, while at the same time claiming “positive changes” with “positive results”

Critics have argued that the WHO should apply tougher scrutiny and more pressure on China, where Covid-19 emerged in December in the city of Wuhan. The virus has since infected more than 45,000 people and killed more than 1,100 – the vast majority of them in China, though confirmed cases have been identified in more than two dozen countries.

Tedros, who met Xi in Beijing last month, returned with an agreement on sending an international mission. At that time, Tedros was quoted by Chinese state media as saying that “China’s speed, China’s scale and China’s efficiency … is the advantage of China’s system”.

It took nearly two weeks to get the green light from the Chinese government on the team, led by Canadian emergency expert Dr Bruce Aylward. But while Chinese authorities allowed a team to go, since then they have not agreed on the exact composition of the team or the scope of work to be covered.

Insiders at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have also complained that China has been unwilling to agree to their experts’ request to conduct on-site visits.

Fending off criticism that he made the appreciative remarks just to save China “face”, Tedros insisted that China “doesn’t need to be asked to be praised” for its efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

“China has done many good things to slow down the virus,” Tedros said. “The whole world can judge. There is no spinning here.”

Tedros added that his comments were not merely personal, but that they represented the view of the WHO.

He said one British board member of the agency characterised the Chinese decision to lock down Wuhan, a city of 11 million, as “heroic”

Without blaming China for any delays of international investigations, Tedros instead criticised countries that had rejected the entry of cruise ships, after 175 people aboard the Diamond Princess, now docked in Japan, became infected. More than 3,000 are stranded aboard that vessel.

“This is a time for solidarity, not stigma,” he said.

 

 

 

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