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Blaming China won't solve America's problems

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-09-24 09:47

According to the International Health Regulations (IHR), "each State Party shall notify WHO, by the most efficient means of communication available, by way of the National IHR Focal Point, and within 24 hours of assessment of public health information, of all events which may constitute a public health emergency of international concern within its territory in accordance with the decision instrument, as well as any health measure implemented in response to those events." The requirement of notification "within 24 hours" refers to a timeframe of accomplishing "assessment of public health information" and coming to a conclusion that the events may "constitute a public health emergency of international concern within its territory". It took China just a few days to go through the process of assessment and determination as well as initial steps to prevent and control the viral pneumonia of unknown cause before it officially notified WHO of its findings on the events.

The International Health Regulations provides that "following a notification, a State Party shall continue to communicate to WHO timely, accurate and sufficiently detailed public health information available to it on the notified event, where possible including case definitions, laboratory results, source and type of the risk, number of cases and deaths, conditions affecting the spread of the disease and the health measures employed." China has followed these regulations and updated WHO regularly. China has fulfilled its IHR obligations of keeping WHO notified of the events in Wuhan in particular and China as a whole. China also hosted a field visit by a WHO delegation to Wuhan January 20 to 21, and the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVD-19) with members from the US

In addition, the China CDC succeeded in isolating the first novel coronavirus strain on January 7, and an expert team from the NHC made public of the pathogen on January 9, saying a new type of coronavirus was initially identified as the cause of the viral pneumonia in Wuhan. WHO was informed by China of the initial progress in this respect and released on its website a statement regarding a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, saying that preliminary identification of a novel coronavirus in a short period of time is a notable achievement.

And two other notable achievements by the Chinese side include: On January 10, research institutions including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) developed testing kits and Wuhan City organized tests of all relevant cases admitted at hospitals in the city. And on January 12, the China CDC, the CAMS and the WIV under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), as designated agencies of the NHC, submitted to WHO the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was published by the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) and shared globally.

US virus hunter and EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak stated on CNN host Fareed Zakaria's show GPS aired on April 26 that "early on China was very open. They shared the full genome sequences of the viruses and openly with the rest of the world very, very quickly, quicker than we've ever seen this before for any country, really." This comment has been echoed by the medical and health community around the world, including WHO. The speed of the findings has been characterized as impressive. "Preliminary identification of a novel virus in a short period of time is a notable achievement and demonstrates China's increased capacity to manage new outbreaks," WHO's representative in China, Dr. Gauden Galea, said in a statement.

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