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The number of positive Covid-19 cases continues to rise in SA. Picture: 123RF/BETONSTUDIO
The number of positive Covid-19 cases continues to rise in SA. Picture: 123RF/BETONSTUDIO

At present, Covid-19 is spreading rapidly around the globe, affecting more than 200 countries and regions, with more than 770,000 confirmed cases outside China. Its transmission capacity, speed and scope is posing a severe threat to the lives and health of people of the whole world. 

The virus respects no borders. Countries around the world have to uphold the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, strengthen confidence, act with unity, and work together to win the battle against this infectious disease.

In the face of the outbreak of Covid-19, under the strong leadership President Xi Jinping, China and its people mobilised to act decisively in taking the most comprehensive measures to contain, defeat and prevent the spread of the epidemic within and outside China. 

After more than two months of unremitting efforts, using the signature Chinese speed, scale, strength, efficiency, spirit and culture, the situation in China has been turning for the better, and the economic production and life activities around the country are getting back to normal.

Leaders of more than 170 countries and 40 international and regional organisations have expressed their condolences, support and praise to China and its people for making tremendous sacrifices and gaining precious time for other countries and regions to prevent and control Covid-19. Many have donated funds and medical supplies to assist China — and the Chinese people will always remember and cherish this.

China shows empathy with the countries affected by Covid-19 and has extended a helping hand to countries around the world where the virus is rapidly spreading. In conversation with more than 20 foreign leaders and heads of international organisations, Xi Jinping expressed China’s sincere condolences, firm support, and shared its experience in fighting Covid-19.

During the recent G20 Leaders’ Summit, President Xi Jinping called for the international community to collectively respond to controlling and treating Covid-19, to support the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organisations in playing their roles, enhance international macroeconomic policy co-ordination, provide strong political guidance, improve global health governance, build a community of public health security globally, and join hands in the fight against the virus. 

In a bid to fight Covid-19 globally, China identified and shared all the pathogenomic sequencing of the novel coronavirus and all related data with WHO and relevant countries, verified and released the information on all suspected and confirmed cases in record-breaking time.

China has set up an online knowledge centre for the prevention and control of the Covid-19, which is open to all countries. It has held close to 20 expert video conferences with more than 100 countries in northeast Asia, south Asia, central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and South Pacific, as well as regional organisations including ASEAN, the EU, the AU, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, to share its experiences on prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment. This has greatly enriched the global anti-epidemic tool kit.

China donated $20m to WHO and pledged assistance to 83 countries, the WHO and the AU, covering testing reagents, masks and protective suits, many of which have been delivered to recipients. China has innovated anti-epidemic co-operation under the model of “one Chinese province helping one country”, and sent teams of medical experts to countries such as Italy, Iran, Iraq, Serbia and Cambodia.

As good friends, partners and brothers, China and Africa have offered one another mutual support throughout the fight. Now the virus is raging in Africa with confirmed cases in 50 African countries. While strengthening its own epidemic prevention and control efforts, China has provided two batches of testing reagents to the AU, and sped up to offer some African countries medical supplies, including masks and protective suits. 

The Chinese experts have held video conferences with 24 African countries and the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention to exchange anti-epidemic experience, and Chinese medical aid teams have been mobilised to participate in anti-epidemic operations in the countries where they are stationed.

China’s Jack Ma Public Welfare Foundation and Alibaba Public Welfare Foundation have decided to donate 100,000 masks, 1,000 protective suits, 1,000 protective face shields and 20,000 testing kits to each of the 54 countries in Africa. The relevant medical supplies have arrived in Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian government is responsible for co-ordinating the distribution. Some countries have already received these supplies.

Since the first confirmed case on March 5, the number of infections in SA have soared to over 1,300, making it the country with the largest number of confirmed cases in Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading the government and its people to take resolute and decisive measures to contain the spread of the epidemic. The Chinese government expresses its sincere appreciation and support to the president for his outstanding leadership in dealing with the epidemic.

Despite suffering the impact of the epidemic themselves, many SA companies have made generous donations to support China. The Chinese government is grateful to SA for the solidarity and friendship in the testing times. 

To date, China has provided SA with the following:

  • more than 5,500 testing kits and other medical supplies such as masks; 
  • in collaboration with Chinese company Dahua Technology, the Chinese Embassy in SA, provided and installed a fever-detection system for the Union Building;
  • the Chinese People’s Liberation Army donated goggles and masks to the SA National Defence Force, providing strong support for them to enforce national lockdown;
  • the Chinese Embassy in SA co-ordinated the Chinese enterprises in south China to prioritise the supply of raw materials for SA mask manufacturers, and supported the Chinese communities in urgently ordering mask production equipment from China, already in operation in SA; and 
  • Chinese enterprises and communities in SA have generously donated R3m to the SA government, of which R1m came from Huawei. 

In the future, the Chinese government, enterprises and communities will donate more cash and kind to help SA fight the epidemic.

Solidarity and co-operation are the most powerful weapons to overcome the Covid-19, which concerns the safety of the entire humanity. 

This article was paid for by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in SA.

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