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Institutional advantages instill confidence that fight against coronavirus will be won

China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-12 07:07

Some Western epidemic experts' remarks in the wake of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus have provided some food for thought, as they said to some extent it is good that the virus has appeared in China, not in any other country, because China has a unique system that can help it effectively control the epidemic.

They are right in that regard, but even as China has efficiently used the advantages of its system to the full in the fight against the virus, it is by no means a good thing that the outbreak has occurred, for itself, or the world.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the virus had infected 42,717 people in China, and killed 1,017 of them, among which 31,728 of the infections and 974 of the deaths have been in Hubei province, which has been at the heart of the outbreak.

These numbers have already been hard-earned results, as not only have 13 cities in Hubei, home to nearly 50 million people, been locked down, but also the rest of the nation has come to a virtual standstill for nearly one month as the central authorities seek to cut the transmission of the virus.

To help those infected in the province, about 12,000 doctors and nurses, including military medical personnel, from the rest of the country have been sent to Hubei to swell the ranks of those combating the epidemic on the front line, where two large field hospitals have been built within 10 days from scratch, and workshops producing medical care materials are running at full speed to support the "war of the people".

It is the resolute leadership of the Communist Party of China that has activated the mobilization of these forces in this life-and-death struggle and targeted the virus in Hubei to prevent it rampaging throughout the nation and beyond.

Thanks to the central authorities' swift and decisive response when it was clear a new virus had emerged, China was not only able to isolate the virus, sequence the genome and share it with the World Health Organization and the world in record time, it was also able to implement the unprecedented quarantine measures aimed at containing the outbreak in Hubei.

To more effectively provide assistance to the affected cities in Hubei, the central authorities on Friday instructed 16 provincial-level regions to assist the anti-epidemic fight in the 13 locked down cities and three others on a one-to-one basis, a mechanism that proved effective in relief and restoration work after the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake.

No wonder WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and world leaders have hailed the speed and scale of China's response to the outbreak. Hopefully, the advantages of its system which have so remarkably been demonstrated will start to increasingly show the desired results.

Rather than trying to portray China's system as a weakness that allowed the outbreak to happen, the world should recognize that it is the strengths of its system that have enabled the remarkable response to the virus. They should not take China's system as a reason to desert the fight.

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