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Pakistan stands with China at this critical moment of epidemic outbreak

By Zamir Ahmed Awan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-03 16:21

A medical worker takes a passenger's body temperature at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, Jan 22, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

A friend in need is a friend indeed. Pakistan firmly stands with China at this critical moment of an epidemic outbreak. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said the Pakistani side highly appreciates and firmly supports China's efforts to combat the epidemic and thanks China for providing help to Pakistani citizens in China. The Pakistani side strongly believes that China can give full play to its unique institutional advantages to overcome the epidemic, Khan said, adding that Pakistan is willing to mobilize all the country's medical supply reserves to assist China, and will firmly stand alongside the brotherly Chinese people. Meanwhile, China is struggling to contain the viral outbreak centered in Wuhan. The Pakistani government has sent its first consignment of aid to China to facilitate the Chinese government’s fight against deadly novel coronavirus.

The Pakistani government has allocated 300,000 medical masks, 800 hazmat suits and 6,800 pairs of gloves from the stocks of public hospitals around the nation and transported the aid to China. The medical supplies from Pakistan arrived in China on Saturday. The spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also made a comment about aid received from Pakistan.

"To help China fight against #nCoV, Russia, Pakistan, ROK, Belarus, France, Germany, Malaysia and UNICEF, and many others are providing assistance and support to China. Thanks to you all! A friend in need is a friend indeed," the spokesman tweeted.

This move by Pakistan, although not enough, represents the gesture by the Pakistani state and the people to show solidarity with their brethren in China. The people of Pakistan are also standing with the Chinese nation. Usman, 29, a Pakistani teacher at Changsha Medical College, is voluntarily at ground zero in Wuhan, helping out with the medical emergency. Usman graduated from Hunan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a bachelor's degree in 2012, and a master's degree in medicine at Central South University in Changsha. After graduation, he became a foreign teacher at Changsha Medical College. During the four years since his return to his hometown, he has always been unable to forget China and Changsha, and he said that China provided him with good opportunities for education and employment, and realized his dream.

Fortunately, coronavirus is not very dangerous as its fatality rate is as low as 2.8 % only, while SARS had a high fatality rate, up to 10percent. China overcame SARS in the past and gained some experiences. Based on its previous experience, China handled the situation appropriately and addressed the issue in time. China reacted maturely and with full responsibility and shared all information with the international community in a very transparent and timely manner.

It is time for the international community to extend a cooperative hand tod China in overcoming this epidemic. The most important aspect will be to develop a vaccine. The developed world, having rich experience of developing vaccines, may come forward voluntarily.

China is a major contributor to the global economy and the Chinese share in the global economy is almost one-third. Any harm to the Chinese economy may result in direct harm to the global economy, especially the developing world may suffer more in case of any negative impact on the Chinese economy. Natural disasters are beyond human control and can happen to any country or any nation at any time. It can be in the form of earthquakes, floods, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, fire, or epidemics. Such disasters may be addressed collectively and the whole world must join hands with China to overcome this disaster. Some individuals or nations may exploit this situation for political or economic purposes, which must be condemned and avoided.

The author is a Sinologist (ex-diplomat) and non-resident fellow of the Center for China and Globalization, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

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