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2019-nCoV outbreak mirrors morality of international community

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)    10:49, February 06, 2020

The battle against the 2019 novel coronavirus is a trial of strength between human beings and virus. The Chinese government and Chinese people are rushing to the front line, composing a song of praise for the value of life.

A 25-year-old woman surnamed Li, accompanied by medics, walks out of the isolation ward of People’s Hospital of Bozhou, east China’s Anhui Province at 9:00 am, Jan. 29, 2020. She is the first cured patient of the novel coronavirus in Bozhou and among the first batch in Anhui. (Photo by Zhang Yanlin from People’s Daily Online)

The battle is also a test for morality and sense of justice. The international society, with its righteous strength, is joining the battle with China to contain the epidemic, illustrating “a friend in need is a friend indeed” with concrete actions and playing a symphony of the community with a shared future for mankind.

However, certain western country, with exaggerated response, has crossed the bottom line of morality and started the daydreaming of kicking China down in the tribulation to seek their own private profits.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, February 3, at the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board meeting that protection is necessary, but there’s no need to overreact.

WHO is not recommending measures that “unnecessarily interfere with travel and commerce”, the WHO chief said, calling on all countries to implement decisions that are “evidence-based and consistent”.

A train attendant takes body temperature of a boy on D354 from Chengdu East Railway Station to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, Feb.2, 2020. (Photo by Hu Zhiqiang from People’s Daily Online)

He explained from a professional perspective that what should be done and what shouldn’t, telling people not to panic.

Deputies from dozens of countries to the meeting hailed that China’s prevention and control measures have set an example, saying they are willing to join the battle with the Chinese people.

There’s no doubt that the spreading of panic is more horrible than the spreading of virus, and only confidence is the way out.

According to media reports, the A/H1N1 swine flu that started in the U.S. in 2009 caused over 1.63 million infection cases and led to 284,500 deaths, leaving a fatality rate of 17.4 percent. Thanks to the unremitted efforts made by China, the fatality rate of the novel coronavirus has been restricted at around 2.1 percent in the country, much lower than usual. Starting from Feb. 1, the number of cured cases has outrun that of the death cases, which indicates that the epidemic is totally controllable.

However, just after WHO said there’s no reason to unnecessarily interfere with international travel and said it doesn’t recommend and actually opposes any restrictions for travel or other measures against China, the U.S. took the initiative to announce a highest-level warning on not to travel to China, banning U.S. citizens from going to China, as well as the entry into the U.S. by any foreign national who has traveled to China in the past 14 days.

The U.S. was the first to evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers.

The U.S. practices are obviously in lack of science- and fact-based foundation, and even officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security believe that the epidemic has generally low risk for U.S. citizens.

Relevant U.S. experts said that the U.S. is turning from overconfidence to fear and overreaction, pointing out such decision is not backed by science, and they suggest early cancellation.

A medical worker poses for a picture in a county-level hospital in Zhangye, northwest China’s Gansu Province, Feb. 1, 2020. The medical workers are working hard to race against time. (Photo by Cheng Xuelei from People’s Daily Online)

The epidemic is a public enemy of the world, in which sympathy and justice shall never be absent. However, when the international community is joining hands to combat the virus, some U.S. politicians are busy making private political gains. What they have done has crossed the bottom line of human civilization.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said publicly that the coronavirus outbreak in China will help accelerate the return of jobs to America, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brazenly made mischief between China and its neighboring countries in name of the novel coronavirus outbreak during his trip to Central Asia in recent days. What’s more, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton has been repeatedly slandering China, clamoring for a ban on the country and suggesting all Americans escape from the country.

Such ridiculous remarks by U.S. politicians are both ugly and ignorant. Many Americans have said bluntly on the Internet that Cotton’s remarks are even more dangerous than the novel coronavirus.

Whether a country should lend a hand or give a stab in the back in the face of epidemic is a question about the value of justice. It’s believed that the power of understanding, sympathy, support and unity will always be the mainstream as conscience and justice will always be there.

Countries and international organizations are actively preparing and sending medical supplies to China, and many friendly people are also supporting China’s efforts in various ways. The supports for China and Wuhan come from all over the world, a beautiful moment in the human society where the destiny of each party is closely knitted. Both material and moral supports carry the positive energy in helping the world get through the current difficulties.

In the face of epidemic, there will always be a ruler that measures morality of international community.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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