February 15, 2020

China releases latest Coronavirus statistics

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By the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe

By the end of Friday, the overall confirmed cases had reached 66,492; and 8,969 were suspected of being infected with the virus.

A total of 8,096 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

Friday saw 2,641 new confirmed cases; 143 deaths; 849 cases in critical condition; 2,277 new suspected cases and 1,373 people were discharged from hospital after recovery. 

According to the World Health Organisation’s situation report on 14 February, in the previous 24 hours, no new countries reported cases of COVID-19. There had been 49 053 laboratory-confirmed (2 056 new) cases globally, including 505 laboratory-confirmed (58 new) cases in 24 countries and two deaths (one new) outside China.

An article by President Xi Jinping on the prevention and control of the pneumonia epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus will be published Sunday on Qiushi Journal, a flagship magazine of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

The article is the transcript of a speech by Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

The article stresses the importance of securing success in the prevention and control work, pointing out that the outcome of the epidemic prevention and control directly affects people’s lives and health, the overall economic and social stability and the country’s opening-up.

Resources for treatment, prevention and protection must be sent to the frontline of the battle against the epidemic and priority should be given to meet the needs of frontline medical staff and patients, according to the article.

All-out efforts should be made to improve the admission and survival rates, and reduce the infection and mortality rates, the article says.

The article underlines the need to safeguard social stability, the promotion of public education and communication, as well as ensuring a stable economic performance.

It also stresses improving the country’s emergency management system and capacity of handling urgent, difficult, dangerous and important tasks.

A total of 217 medical teams with 25,633 medical workers had been sent to central China’s Hubei Province to help combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as of Friday, a senior official with the National Health Commission said Saturday.

“The total number of medical workers has far exceeded that for rescue in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, and we did it at a much faster speed,” Wang Hesheng, deputy head of the commission, said at a video press conference held in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province.

Wang, also a member of the standing committee of the Hubei provincial Party committee, noted that the figure excluded medical staff sent by the military.

Three mobile P3 laboratories were also dispatched to the epicenter for epidemic control, Wang said. Of the medical workers, 20,374 are now working in Wuhan, he added.

China has been pooling quality resources to step up treatment for severe and critical cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, which account for about 18 percent of all the confirmed and hospitalised cases in the city, the National Health Commission (NHC) said Saturday.

Health authorities have designated hospitals in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, to receive severe and critically ill patients in isolated areas, said Jiao Yahui, an official with the NHC, at a press conference held in the city.

A team of experts makes daily evaluations on all of the hospitalised patients in severe condition and holds discussions and consultations on difficult and complicated cases. “We make sure that the patients receive timely and effective treatment,” Jiao said.

Most of the patients whose symptoms are severe or ultimately deadly are seniors with existing diseases and were already in severe or critical condition when they were hospitalised, said Jiao.

China’s banks had provided over 537 billion yuan (about 76.89 billion U.S. dollars) of credit support as of Friday noon to help companies restore production amid the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak, a senior official with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said Saturday.

Differentiated preferential financial credit supports have been offered to enterprises and the help for the areas hit hard by the novel coronavirus has been strengthened, Liang Tao, vice chairman of the CBIRC, said at a press conference.

The Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) of the African Union (AU) has announced that enhanced efforts are underway to prepare for any possible outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19).

At his weekly press briefing on Friday at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Dr John Nkengasong, Africa CDC director, said the center is coordinating efforts and activities on the continent’s preparedness and response for any possible outbreak of the COVID-19.

Although there is no confirmed case in Africa, Nkengasong said, a continental taskforce on coronavirus has been established among other activities to enable Africa to be prepared for and capable of responding to the disease if any outbreak occurs.

“There have been 51 suspected cases reported and all of them have tested negative by the standard test that has been used. We continue to be very active in this process, to prepare our continent,” said the director.

The continental taskforce, which comprises experts across Africa, is coordinated from five African countries – Senegal, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa – to oversee five major areas of surveillance, infection prevention and control, clinical management of patients with severe coronavirus infection, risk communication and community management.

“The uniqueness of this taskforce is that the ownership and leadership is shared by the AU, its member states and the World Health Organisation,” Nkengasong said.

Stressing that efforts are well underway to enhance the diagnostic capacity of AU member states, the director said: “More than 16 countries now have the capacity to test (the coronavirus). And by the 28th of this month, another 20 labs will have the capacity to test. So, we are scaling up very rapidly across the continent in terms of diagnostics.”

The Africa CDC arrange daily emergency operation center meetings with AU member states as well as video conferences with representatives of national public health institutes, and produce and circulate a weekly update on the outbreak.

“We conduct daily emergency operation activities right here at the Africa CDC headquarters. We will link member states and discuss what has occurred in the previous day and prepare our response activity then,” he said.

The following is Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang’s Daily Briefing Online on February 14, 2020:

First, I’d like to share with you some figures from the National Health Commission (NHC) this morning. Between 00:00 and 24:00, February 13, altogether 1,081 cured and discharged cases were reported in China’s mainland. As of 24:00 February 13, a total of 6,723 people have been cured and discharged from hospital in China’s mainland.

Between 00:00 and 24:00, February 13, there were 267 newly reported confirmed cases in China (excluding Hubei Province), marking the 10th day of declining.

Recently, many foreign ambassadors and representatives to China said on social media platforms that they stand with China in this fight against the NCP (COVID-19). It shows not only their strong recognition of China’s epidemic response but also their confidence in the Chinese government and people’s capability to defeat the virus. I’d like to share with you a video demonstrating true friendship that stands out in difficult times.

In this video:

The Russian ambassador to China said, “We hope the Chinese people will stay safe and sound, ward off all diseases and resume normal life as soon as possible.”

The German ambassador to China said, “German people’s thoughts are with China in this challenging time and we wish the Chinese people an early victory over the epidemic.”

The Cuban ambassador to China said, “Chinese friends are not alone and the Cuban people stand with them.”

The Mongolian ambassador to China said, “Friendly Chinese people will win the battle against the novel coronavirus.”

The Iranian ambassador to China said, “I’m sure China, with 5 000 years of civilisation, will overcome this problem.”

The Brazilian ambassador to China said, “The Chinese people have overcome all the challenges they encountered before. Brazil has faith in China.”

The French ambassador to China said, “True friends are recognised in trying times. France is by your side.”

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in China said, “The international community is behind China. Zhongguo jiayou! (Stay strong, China!)”

We applaud all foreign diplomats, representatives and the countries and institutions they represent for standing with China in times of adversity. This is a perfect demonstration of a community with a shared future for mankind.

After the epidemic, the history will remember not only the Chinese people’s courage, arduous struggle and concerted efforts, but also the spirit of countries tiding over the difficulties hand in hand. China will continue working with all countries to fight the epidemic, defeat it as early as possible, safeguard international public health security and contribute to the health and wellbeing of all mankind.

Q: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation issued a statement in support of China’s efforts in countering the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic. Secretary General Vladimir Norov of the SCO also said previously that the SCO member states will stand with the Chinese people to jointly fight against the epidemic. What is your comment?

A: On February 14, the SCO issued a statement in support of China’s efforts in countering the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic. The statement said that the SCO member states welcome the decisive measures undertaken by the Chinese government and people to fight the epidemic and to stop it from spreading. The member states reaffirm their readiness to render China the necessary assistance and to closely cooperate with China. They call on the international community to step up their coordination within the World Health Organisation for better public health security. The member states are convinced that coordinated joint efforts as well as mutual support will make it possible to overcome this epidemic and to contain its spreading.

The SCO, a comprehensive regional organisation commanding major international influence, has been advocating the “Shanghai Spirit” and promoting common development and prosperity in solidarity. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the SCO members have been cooperating with mutual support to address new threats and challenges. Leaders of the SCO member states have all sent messages of condolences in which they spoke highly of China’s forceful measures and expressed their readiness to provide support and assistance. The SCO statement once again showcased the fine tradition of the member states sharing weal and woe through thick and thin. China will continue to closely cooperate with the international community, including the SCO member states, to mount a joint response against the epidemic and uphold regional and global public health security.

Q: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again talked about Chinese infiltration in the US during a recent interview with FOX Business. He said it is what the Chinese Communist Party is doing, while the Americans love the Chinese people. He also talked about Chinese diplomatic missions’ engagement in so-called infiltration. I wonder if you have any comment?

A: I responded to Mr Pompeo’s speech to the National Governors Association the other day. His latest remarks are a mere repetition of the old tune. In a renewed disregard for the actual course of China-US relations, he has exposed once again his Cold-War mentality and political prejudice, which we firmly oppose.

Here I’ll give you some plain facts

First, China adheres to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. China’s diplomatic missions and civil groups in the US observe international law and bilateral agreements. Their interactions with the US governments at all levels are to promote mutual understanding, exchanges and cooperation, thus legitimate, lawful, open and aboveboard, and beyond reproach.

Second, China follows the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the leadership of the CPC is a defining feature. This path is a historical choice made by the Chinese people. Anyone seeking to sow discord between the Chinese people and the CPC should know that their attempts will prove to be in vain.

Third, since diplomatic ties were established more than 40 years ago, China-US relations have generally moved forward despite some trials and turbulence, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. A sound and stable bilateral relationship serves the interests of both countries and is what the international community wants to see.

Finally, we advise certain people in the US to step out of their Cold War mindset and ideological prejudices, stop discrediting China’s political system, and stop undermining bilateral exchange and cooperation.

Q: A question about the NCP. US National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said yesterday that they’re disappointed that they haven’t been invited in and they’re also disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese. He added that “We’re more than willing to work with the WHO on this and they won’t let us”. Do you have any response to this?

A: China has been working with the international community to tackle the epidemic in an open, transparent and highly responsible manner for the sake of global public health security and all people’s health since the outbreak.

China has been active and open towards cooperation with the US. Since the epidemic broke out, the health authorities of the two sides have been in close communication on policies, timely exchanging information on the epidemic, with the heads of the departments having talks through phone calls and messages. Chinese and American departments of disease control, medical R&D and technology as well as scientists have also been engaging in various forms of exchanges. We welcome foreign experts’ participation in the China-WHO Joint Mission, including those from the US. US President Trump and US Secretary of Health Alex Azar commended China’s transparent handling of the epidemic on many occasions.

China will continue working with the international community, including the US, to jointly tackle the epidemic and uphold global health security.

Q: Can you tell us how many foreign governments have provided assistance to China so far?

A: China mainly relies on its own strength to tackle the epidemic. We are confident and capable of doing this. In the meantime, we welcome and thank the international community, the developing countries in particular, for their sincere support and friendly assistance.

According to what we have learned from diplomatic channels, as of 12 p.m. February 14, altogether 33 foreign governments and 4 international organizations have provided China with medical supplies. They are: Algeria, Australia, Belarus, Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Suriname, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, the European Union, Unicef, UNDP and the International Organization for Migration.

A total of 17 foreign governments and one international organisation announced that they will offer medical supplies to China. They are: Austria, Brazil, the Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Norway, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia and the United Nations Population Fund.

In addition, Chile, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vanuatu have also offered China financial and material support in other means. Friendly people in many countries, overseas Chinese firms and Chinese community including students have also provided a lot of support in various ways.

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