With bruised faces or soaked in sweat, Chinese medical staff are going all out to fight the battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic. When the virus struck, numerous doctors and nurses across the country rushed in groups to Wuhan – a megacity at the epicentre of the epidemic in central China.
They are not fighting alone. The whole nation is fighting alongside them.
Under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has taken unprecedented measures to contain the outbreak. The president himself has chaired two important meetings, inputting his personal commitment, guidance and deployment. The Central Government has pooled national medical personnel and supplies to the hardest hit regions, built new hospitals, extended the Chinese New Year holiday, postponed the opening dates for schools and businesses, and imposed travel restrictions within the country. Local governments across the country have adopted restricted measures to curb the spread of the virus as much as possible, and the public has been cooperative.
China is not fighting alone. The whole world is fighting alongside the country.
The international community shows great care for the epidemic in China, which mirrors the sincere relationship among countries. So far, over 70 political leaders from more than 50 countries and heads of 20 international organizations, through letters or other ways, have expressed their appreciation and support for China’s efforts to battle against the novel coronavirus.
At this difficult time, I am particularly grateful to the Nigerian Government and people for their precious support to China. President Muhammadu Buhari extended his good wishes to President Xi Jinping and citizens of the People’s Republic of China, saying it was important to let them know that Nigeria and her citizens were also standing by them during this coronavirus outbreak. The President hailed China’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus and the country’s collaboration with international agencies and other countries on the matter as exemplary. He prayed that God will comfort the Chinese and others who had already lost family members and loved ones to the disease.
I appreciate that the Nigerian Government, under the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), has taken a responsible attitude not to overreact. The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while launching the Incident Command System said the State’s measure to contain the virus is not to stigmatise citizens of any country but a precautionary one taken in the interests of the people. He said: “We are not declaring an emergency in any form but creating a heightened state of concern.” He further elaborated that the Lagos State is ready for business and welcomes Chinese investors to come.
As long as the international community stands together, with scientific prevention and cures, and precise policies, the epidemic is preventable, controllable and curable. The understanding and measures of Nigeria support China a lot, injecting confidence for the epicentre Wuhan and for China. It is time to test the strength, wisdom, and solidarity of the international community as the world did when reining in viruses including swine flu, polio, Ebola, and Zika. Facing an extraordinary challenge posed by the outbreak, the world needs extraordinary confidence.
Chu Maoming is China’s Consul General in Lagos