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White paper on COVID-19 serves as guideline on defeating pandemic

By Zamir Ahmed Awan (People's Daily Online)    10:36, June 08, 2020

A press conference was held by the State Council Information Office in Beijing, capital of China, on June 7, 2020 (Sunday) marking the launch of its white paper on the country's battle against COVID-19. The white paper is titled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action".

The White Paper is an essential document as it contains the relevant data, facts and figures, as well as details on actions taken, procedures, preventive measures, isolation and lockdown, the treatment and cure of COVID-19. A comprehensive document containing in-depth information, the report serves as the best guidelines for the rest of the world to follow in fighting COVID-19.

China was the first country to become a victim of COVID-19. There was no historical precedent to refer to, and no guidelines available to be followed. While history is full of outbreaks, COVID-19 was one of the most contagious and newest viruses. It took some time for China to study and understand the virus, then formulate a policy and measures to fight it. China struggled hard and mobilized all possible resources to win the battle against COVID-19.

Thankfully, the efforts of the Chinese leadership and the public worked well and were fruitful in defeating COVID-19. Now, China is sharing its experience with other countries and helping them to overcome the pandemic. The recently published White Paper is the best guideline available.

Human beings are the most precious thing in this universe. The Chinese government gives the highest priority to human lives. Strict lockdown and isolation measures were implemented - all educational institutes were closed, industry was shut down, all means of transportation were stopped, movement of goods and persons was halted and commercial activities were suspended. Although it resulted in considerable economic losses to the country, many lives were saved. China has one of the lowest fatality rates in the world, while some other countries cared more about their economies and sacrificed many human lives. Economic losses can be recovered through hard work, but the loss of a human being is irreversible. No amount of money can bring a dead person back to life.

While China was suffering from the sudden outbreak and engaged in its fight against COVID-19, the US and some of its close allies criticized it for the strict measures it was taking and accused it of stepping on human rights and personal freedom. They wasted valuable time blaming and bashing China, but when the virus reached them, they were embarrassed and had no clue how to face it. As a result, they suffered heavy loss of life as well as economic damage.

It might have been expected that the world would work with China from the beginning and attempt to overcome the outbreak in its initial stages. Unfortunately, some countries were happy to see China suffer and saw the outbreak as an opportunity for them. Soon, they also became the victims and suffered heavy losses, and it was too late to repent. Now they are trying to pin the blame on China, and trying to make China a scapegoat. They are misleading the world and trying to distract them from the facts. The virus is the universal enemy of humankind and does not differentiate between nationality, color, race, religion, or ethnicity. Still, it is not too late to cooperate with China and learn from its experience to save precious human lives.

It is to be hoped that the world will realize this and extend cooperation with WHO and China to save humanity around the globe. China has emerged as a global leader in fighting against COVID-19 and has shown to be willing to serve humanity. The White Paper is available to anyone willing to learn anything about China's experience in defeating the virus. It could help save the lives of countless innocent people around the world. 

The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to People's Daily Online.

Zamir Ahmed Awan is a senior fellow with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. E-mail: [email protected]

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