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I witnessed first-hand what China is doing to curb COVID-19

By Md Enamul Hassan (People's Daily Online)    18:09, November 17, 2020

Considering its role in the global economy, China’s voice is not heard enough throughout the world. Furthermore, the country is often seen as being an easy victim of smear campaigns. History shows that whenever China faces difficulties, its political and ideological opponents, known as sinophobes, scramble to fish in troubled waters. 

Md Enamul Hassan

Just as it was in the past, the sinophobes did not hesitate to reveal their true colors when the coronavirus outbreak devastated China earlier this year. They left no stone unturned to isolate the country from the rest of the world by stigmatizing it over the virus outbreak.

However, the sinophobes mysteriously fell silent after China successfully defeated the COVID-19 pandemic. China has already returned to normalcy while other major and powerful countries are still being ravaged by the pandemic. The people of China are enjoying a relatively normal life while the rest of the world is frightened and worried about the third wave of the pandemic.

China is very happy but not complacent about its great success in fighting the pandemic. The country has been working tirelessly to protect humanity from the curse of the infectious disease. Many nations have already been successful in curbing the virus by forging ahead with effective and win-win cooperation with China.

Unfortunately, China’s tremendous success against the coronavirus has remained underreported. Global media outlets may have deliberately imposed a blackout on China’s success stories. As the proverb goes, the truth can be suppressed at times but it definitely can’t be hidden forever. Similarly, China's success stories cannot be buried and are now on everyone's lips.

The stories have spread around the world mainly through foreigners who have witnessed China’s multifaceted war against the virus. They have shared their experiences on social media platforms and media outlets of their respective countries. They have not been influenced by anyone else but felt inclined to tell the truth about the Chinese people's war against the pandemic.

Like many, I am also being compelled by my conscience to let the world know what China’s secret to defeating the pandemic is. I myself have experienced and witnessed Chinese initiatives to curb the virus. I tested positive for COVID-19 in China. I think my write-up will help the world know and understand the secret of China’s success.

In my eyes, the government’s cautiousness and seriousness, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), state-of-the-art technologies, modern medical equipment, people’s confidence and cooperation with the government, the sacrifices made by health professionals, stricter lockdowns, and change in lifestyles are the main reasons China was able to defeat the pandemic.

I have been lucky enough to witness how serious and cautious the government was in dealing with the disease after I tested positive in Guangzhou, my transit point to Beijing. As a coronavirus patient, though asymptomatic, I was taken to the isolation ward of a nearby hospital designated for the pandemic.

I then tested negative 24 hours after my admission to the ward. But doctors performed around 100 types of investigations on me using modern medical equipment. The nurses were thorough in checking my temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level three times a day. I was kept in the isolation ward for five days under intensive observation.

I was discharged from the ward and moved to the quarantine unit of the hospital after I tested negative twice in a row. While in quarantine, the same investigations and check-ups continued for the next 14 days. After testing negative six consecutive times, I was finally able to leave quarantine.

During my isolation and quarantine periods, I was treated with only traditional Chinese medicine. As a journalist, I can confirm as an independent source that I was never discriminated against, over-tested, or over-charged as a foreigner. Moreover, I realized that the doctors and nurses who took care of me were imbued with the spirit that saving lives is an essential threshold for protecting humanity.

After being discharged from the hospital, I was able to learn more about how China has been successful in curbing the virus. I could not leave Guangzhou for one month after my discharge from isolation. I had to test negative once again 14 days after my release from quarantine.

I have successfully overcome all the necessary steps and tested negative for the seventh time, allowing me to leave Guangzhou for Beijing.

Meanwhile, I have gathered knowledge of how China has been applying state-of-the-art technologies to curb the virus. China has developed enough software applications for all of its provinces and autonomous regions. Everybody must register their mobile number including their health details with their provincial application. Immediately after registration, the information is stored on a central server that coordinates all regional applications. This allows public health authorities to trace the movements of the owners of each mobile number by using GPS technologies.

Thanks to these technologies, the application creates a QR code on the smartphones of every user. If the code is green, the user is allowed to travel, if red, the user is not permitted to go out. In addition, if someone visits any place where they come close to a coronavirus patient, the code automatically turns red, and the person comes under the observation of the local health authorities.

It is strongly guaranteed that no information of any individual is used except for the purposes of preventing the pandemic. Minors and the elderly do not tend to use smartphones, but they are also under the system through the smartphones of their family members and friends. In a word, no single person is left out of China’s coronavirus management system.

After talking to many Chinese people, I can be assured that they have strong confidence in whatever their government is doing to control the pandemic. The people are also fully cooperating with the government to make its initiatives a success. Before leaving Guangzhou, I learned that the government has tested more than 15 million people in Qingdao and Xinjiang after a number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were confirmed in those regions. I think this is enough to prove the seriousness of the government and people’s cooperation with it.

When it comes to the sacrifice of health professionals, I have nothing new to say, as the world has already witnessed their supreme sacrifices in dealing with the pandemic. Many could not hold back their tears witnessing the gravity of their sacrifices to save humanity from the curse of coronavirus.

Sinophobes have been seen criticizing the Chinese decision to impose stricter lockdowns in the affected areas, towns, and even megacities. But I think lockdown is the key to the success in defeating coronavirus in China. It was a brave decision to put Wuhan under lockdown. It helped the international community learn how to fight the novel coronavirus. But many countries have, unfortunately, wasted time smearing China instead.

The Chinese have got used to a new lifestyle to get rid of coronavirus. People taking their temperature before entering every building, shop, restaurant, hospital and office has now become a common scene in China. They wear masks whenever outside the home, although this habit is becoming somewhat relaxed as there is no coronavirus in China now.

They are used to showing their QR code to get on any public transport or into any building. If anyone feels uncomfortable and has coronavirus symptoms, they are taken to hospitals to receive emergency medical services. As such, the Chinese have taken fighting the virus as part of their lifestyle. They have become used to measures like sanitization, washing hands, and sneezing and coughing in a certain way to keep the virus out of China.

The aforementioned reasons are key factors for the country’s success in defeating the virus, but the main actor is the Communist Party of China (CPC) and its excellent governance system. If one takes a look at other major countries, one can find the authenticity of this bitter truth. In my opinion, the philanthropic and pragmatic leadership of the CPC and the people of China deserve the utmost reverence for their outstanding contributions to saving mankind from the devastating pandemic.

The author is the China Correspondent of the Bangladesh Post. 

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

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