Chinese Embassy update on Coronavirus

Asia and Oceania Coronavirus Watch

By the end of Tuesday there had been 78,064 confirmed cases, 2,491were still suspected of being infected with the virus and the death toll stood at 2,663 deaths.

A total of 29,745 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

Tuesday saw:

  • 406 new confirmed cases,
  • 52 deaths,
  • 530 new suspected cases,
  • 2,422 people were discharged from hospital after recovery.
  • 647,406 close contacts had been traced, among which, 14,573 were discharged from medical observation Tuesday, with 79,108 others still under medical observation.

By the end of Sunday, 85 confirmed cases including one death had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 31 in Taiwan.

According to the WHO’s situation report on 25 February, 4 new Member States (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, and Oman) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Globally there had been 80,239 confirmed (908 new) cases, including 2459 confirmed (390 new) cases in 33 countries (4 new) and 34deaths (11 new) outside China.

Hubei Province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported 401 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 52 new deaths on Tuesday.

China’s daily new confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside Hubei Province, epicenter of the outbreak, dropped to five on Tuesday.

China’s daily number of newly cured and discharged novel coronavirus patients has surpassed that of new infections for the eighth consecutive day.

More Patients Cured Of COVID-19
Continue reading at https://ztn.co.zw/stream/2020/02/more-patients-cured-of-covid-19/

African countries and people’s various support for China’s battle against the COVID-19 outbreak has vividly illustrated the brotherly friendship of sharing weal and woe and helping each other between China and Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday in a phone talk with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

In the conversation, Xi noted that at a crucial moment in the Chinese people’s fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic, the prime minister has twice sent messages to express sympathies and also made the telephone call, which has reflected the profound friendship and mutual support between China and Ethiopia, two comprehensive strategic cooperative partners.

Xi expressed appreciation for Ethiopia’s confidence in China as the African country keeps normal contacts and exchanges with China in line with the World Health Organization’s advice.

Fighting the COVID-19 epidemic is currently the top priority for the Chinese government, he said, adding that with a highly responsible attitude towards the lives and health of both the Chinese people and people around the world, China has made good use of its institutional strengths and put in place the most comprehensive, thorough and rigorous prevention and control measures, which have achieved positive results and caused the situation to change for the better.

Xi recalled that in 2014, the Chinese government and people made positive contributions to African countries’ victory over an Ebola outbreak by braving difficulties and dangers to take the lead in offering help.

This time round, he added, African countries and people have provided China with various forms of support in the COVID-19 battle, which has vividly illustrated the brotherly friendship of sharing weal and woe and helping each other between China and Africa.

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African Union strengthens COVID-19 preparedness

Noting that African countries are also facing many challenges in epidemic prevention and control, Xi said China is willing to provide them with more medical supplies that are urgently needed, including test kits.

China, he added, also stands ready to accelerate the implementation of the health care initiative of the eight major initiatives unveiled during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, promote the construction of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and strengthen China-Africa cooperation in public health and disease prevention and control.

China turns the tide of the COVID-19 outbreak

Dr. Bruce Aylward – Assistant Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO)

China has changed the course of COVID-19 outbreak, Bruce Aylward, an epidemiologist who led an advance team from the World Health Organization (WHO), said here on Tuesday, noting a rapidly escalating outbreak in China has plateaued and come down faster than previously expected.

It’s a unanimous assessment of the 25-member team which has conducted a nine-day field study trip to China’s Beijing, Guangdong, Sichuan and Hubei, stressed Aylward.

Recalling details of the study trip in China, Aylward said he was impressed by China’s pragmatic, systemic and innovative approach to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

“China has taken “differentiated approach” for different situations of sporadic cases, clusters of cases, or community transmission, which makes a massive scale of epidemic control work without exhausting its response,” said Aylward.

Moreover, the WHO expert praised Chinese phenomenal collective action, stressing “it’s never easy to get the kind of passion, commitment, interest and individual sense of duty that help stop the virus.”

“Every person you talked to (in China) has a sense that they’re mobilized like in a war against the virus and they are organized,” said Aylward, who was particularly impressed by thousands of health care workers volunteering to go into Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Aylward pointed out China has also repurposed machinery of government, for example by forming a central leading group on the epidemic, dispatching a central guiding team, which ensures the prevention and control of the virus.

Besides, Aylward highlighted that China’s pragmatic approach is “technology-powered and science-driven”. “They are using big data, artificial intelligence (AI) in places,” Aylward said, adding that China has managed massive amounts of data in finding each COVID-19 cases and tracing contacts, as well as been able to make consultation of regular health services done online, by which the capacity of hospitals could be intensively used for COVID-19 cases.

Aylward was aware that China has issued six versions of national treatment guidelines for COVID-19, representing fast scientific evolvement in understanding of the new virus. “It’s a science-driven agile response as well at a phenomenal scale,” He said.  

American Jewish communities stand against xenophobia

U.S. Jewish communities have voiced support for the Chinese American and Chinese communities for their being targets of xenophobia over the novel coronavirus.

“We are concerned about rising xenophobia aimed at Chinese people in this country and abroad over the COVID-19 ‘coronavirus,'” wrote the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), an American Jewish non-profit organization that deals with community relations, in an open letter on Tuesday to the Chinese American and Chinese communities in the United States.

“We know that in such times, concern can quickly turn into hysteria, which can lead to scapegoating. We pledge to help ensure that Chinese people feel safe and supported, and to combat attacks and stereotyping on social media,” said the council, which represents 125 local Jewish federations and community relations councils and 17 national Jewish agencies.

The letter noted that many Chinese-owned businesses have been affected by “misinformed concerns about the virus” while there is no need in fact to avoid Chinese people or business. “Indeed, several Jewish communities have sent delegations to local Chinatowns to show their unwavering support,” the letter added.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 53 cases nationwide as of Tuesday noon, a majority of which are passengers back from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

Normalcy returning to Chinese Tourism Sector

Some tourist attractions in low-risk regions of the novel coronavirus outbreak have gradually resumed opening to the public, Liu Kezhi, an official with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said Wednesday.

The resumption of tourist sites should follow the principle of taking differentiated measures, in the meantime, conduct an overall assessment for the conditions and necessity of the reopening, Liu said at a press conference in Beijing.

The reopening to the public of tourist attractions in high-risk regions should be postponed, Liu said, adding that the resumption of tourist attractions in medium- and low-risk regions can be decided by local authorities.

The ministry has also issued a guideline to give direction to tourist sites across the country on controlling visitor flow, preventing public gatherings, health management of working staff, and methods of handling exceptional situations, to aid the work resumption, Liu said.

COVID-19 hotline set up to help those facing psychological issues to do with the epidemic

Hotline staffed by over 600 specialists has been set up in Beijing to provide free medical, psychological and legal counseling services for citizens, local authorities said Wednesday.

The experts are renowned specialists in related areas or professors at Beijing’s top universities, said Qi Jinli, deputy head of the united front work department of Beijing.

So far the hotline has received over 5,500 phone calls, Qi said, adding that most calls were from people who need help with psychological issues related to the epidemic, with some suffering from insomnia and stress.

With the gradual resumption of work and production, the number of inquiries from enterprises, especially small and medium-sized micro-enterprises, has been on the rise, with most focusing on rent relief, tax deferral, and rights related to employees and companies.

COVID-19 outside China:

Japan:Japan has confirmed more than 850 infections, with most of them stemming from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama Port near Tokyo.

Japan is planning to ban entry by foreign nationals who have visited certain regions in South Korea due to outbreaks of COVID-19 there, government sources said Wednesday.

South Korea: South Korea confirmed 284 more cases of the COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the total number of infections to 1,261, and the death toll rose to 12.

Italy: Italy has confirmed 322 cases of the virus, the Italian civil protection agency said Tuesday. That’s the highest number of coronavirus infections outside Asia.

The cases are heavily concentrated in the region of Lombardy where 212 infections have been confirmed. The authorities said Tuesday evening that 11 people have so far died from the virus in the country.

Iraq: Iraq announced four new cases of novel coronavirus disease in the country’s northern province of Kirkuk on Tuesday, bringing the total number in Iraq to five.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on February 25, 2020 on COVID-19

1). Q: On February 22 in a video speech at an emergency ministerial meeting on COVID-19 organized by the African Union, Director-General Tedros said the WHO still has concerns that this virus could spread to countries with weaker health systems, and he called on the international community to support those countries that are most vulnerable. Will China provide help to African countries?

A: We noted Director-General Tedros’ remarks. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the Chinese government and people have been making all-out efforts to counter it. The most stringent and thorough measures have been taken and relevant efforts are showing their effects. As the Director-General pointed out, it was because of China’s strong measures that cross-border spread of the epidemic has been effectively contained and global preparedness has been allowed time for.

During China’s fight against the virus, many developing countries including African countries gave us valuable support and help at the earliest time possible despite their limited resources. The 36th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council and the latest AU Peace and Security Council meeting issued communiques not long ago, in which African countries expressed their solidarity with China in the efforts against COVID-19. During the recently concluded emergency AU meeting of African health ministers, countries also lauded China’s epidemic control measures. African countries standing with China in times of adversity is a perfect demonstration of a community with a shared future for mankind.

“Receiving drips of water when in need, and I shall return the kindness with a spring.” Reciprocating an act of kindness is our nation’s fine tradition. We will remember the friendship and assistance we received, continue to implement the FOCAC Beijing Summit outcomes and act on the vision of building a community with a shared future, support those countries with weaker health systems as much as we can to help them defeat the virus, and safeguard regional and global public health security.

2). Q: First question, what would you recommend to countries which are now suffering a lot of cases of the coronavirus like Italy, the ROK and Iran? Second question, yesterday it was announced that in Wuhan the residents could perhaps go out of the city under some special circumstances. After that this announcement was revoked. When could it be possible for foreigners in Wuhan to leave the city?

A: Thank you for the questions.

On your first question, China has been following the developments of the COVID-19 situation in the ROK, Italy, Iran and other countries. We certainly relate to what they are going through.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the Chinese people have received valuable support and help from the governments and people of those countries. We are deeply grateful for that. They are all our friends and partners, and it’s natural for us to enhance cooperation. While fighting against the virus at home, China is ready to share information and experience with those countries and help them to the best of our ability based on their needs.

To answer your second question, I refer you to the local authorities for more information.

3). Q: There has been a growing number of confirmed cases in Japan and the ROK. The situation there has become increasingly severe. Will China place restrictions on people entering from these two countries?

A: China has been following the developments of the COVID-19 epidemic in Japan and the ROK. We certainly relate to what they are going through. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the Chinese people have received valuable support and help from the governments and people of Japan and the ROK. We are deeply grateful for that. As close neighbors, it is natural for China, Japan and the ROK to cooperate with and help each other during difficult times. Though China is still fighting hard against the virus at home, we are ready to share information and experience with the relevant countries and help them to the best of our ability and in accordance with their needs.

Facing the epidemic, it is every country’s responsibility to ensure the safety and health of its citizens and safeguard regional and global public health security. We will remain in close communication and coordination with all relevant countries including Japan and the ROK, discuss how to jointly carry out prevention and control work, and take concerted, appropriate and necessary measures to stem the cross-border spread of the virus and ensure regional and global public health security.