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COVID-19 outbreak proves China tackles challenges head-on

By Murindagomo Newton Tawanda | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-04-15 17:08

When Chinese people were preparing for holiday celebrations with friends and families, the outbreak of COVID-19 changed all of this, and almost brought the whole of China to the risk of a standstill had it not been for the huge effort that the Chinese government put into confronting the outbreak.

Unlike any other recent previous outbreak of viral infection, as it was spreading very fast and its effects on the affected people were very severe, it was an unknown virus to medical personnel and there was no specific cure for it, so prevention of the spread of the virus was of utmost importance. The problem s confronting China became more apparent each day as huge numbers of people sought medical assistance at hospitals. As no one could have predicted the severity, magnitude and impact of this virus outbreak, it required bold decisions to be quickly made and leadership to prevent the spread of the virus, save lives and minimize the effects on the economy. The Chinese government through the leadership of President Xi Jinping took decisive steps to quarantine the worst affected areas in the city of Wuhan and Hubei province. This decision was certainly critical for saving the rest of China as this significantly confined the virus within this area.

It did not take too long for the results to show the quarantine was correct and probably the only effective solution to preventing the spread of this virus.

The author hold a small banner with the Chinese characters for “中国加油”(Come on, China). [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Now most countries are implementing the same measures that they were criticizing China for doing.

Having put in place measures to contain the spread of the virus, the next step was to mobilize the state’s resources. This required the national government to move and act with speed as it was clear hospitals were going to be overwhelmed by large numbers of people needing not just hospitalization, but ventilators to breathe and intensive medical care due to the seriousness of the effects of COVID-19. The Chinese government decided to upgrade existing facilities specifically to deal with COVID-19 patients and build two new hospitals in 10 days with a capacity to designate at least 1,000 beds in each hospital with all the necessary equipment needed to serve patients’ lives.

The profile photo of the author.

My first and honest thought when I heard this was, that’s not possible; but how wrong was I. Thousands of workers, equipment and other necessities were availed as the construction of the hospital took off just as soon as the announcement was made. In addition to this, the government mobilized medical personnel from other provinces to come and help in Hubei province. Medical equipment, medicine and all other critical supplies were directed to the efforts in combating the situation. The immediate action and the speed showed how well coordinated the Chinese government system is. This also was a demonstration of the capability and organization of the Chinese government, as well as its ability to mobilize resources and direct them to where they are needed most.

When China tackled this outbreak, many others were glued to their televisions watching the news on COVID-19 developing in China and only sending messages of solidarity. Little did they know that a virus knows no borders.

The dawn of victory over this outbreak came on March 18 when Wuhan, the most affected city in China, recorded its first day of no new infections. Unfortunately, the picture in the rest of the world is not looking good as the virus seems to have gotten a foothold in Europe and the number of infections in the United States of America is quickly rising.

The rest of the world needs China. China will need to play a significant role for the world to win this battle against the COVID-19 outbreak. As we are currently witnessing in other countries, it can be seen that most will surely need help from China.

The world can only marvel at how the Chinese government confronted and tackled the COVID-19 outbreak that was threatening to put the entire economic well-being of the Chinese people to a grinding halt. I think the government of China is a government that does not sidestep challenges, but tackles them head-on and overcomes them, as demonstrated by their victory over the outbreak.

The author, from Zimbabwe, is currently a student of the 2019 MOFCOM Project Management master’s degree program.

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


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