Spotlight: Health officials worldwide urge calm amid rigorous Chinese battle against coronavirus -Xinhua

Spotlight: Health officials worldwide urge calm amid rigorous Chinese battle against coronavirus

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-02-07 15:36:49

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Health officials from around the globe have cautioned against unnecessary panic and overreaction amid swift and effective measures by the Chinese authorities to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Bangladeshi Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said Beijing's relentless efforts and time-befitting strategies helped the entire world prepare well to deal with the novel coronavirus.

The actions taken by the Chinese government were effective from the very beginning, he said. "Things are not beyond control due to China's all-out efforts."

Costa Rican Health Minister Daniel Salas has lauded China's "responsible" and "transparent" manner in handling the outbreak.

The Chinese authorities "have been quite responsible in terms of undertaking the measures to contain (the virus)," Salas told Xinhua.

"Managing so many people is a real challenge. They have been handling it and it is laudable that they have been very transparent with the WHO," he said, stressing that Costa Rica has no plans to close its borders to anyone as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The virus' low mortality rate does not justify such a drastic measure, said the health minister.

The WHO said Tuesday that the novel coronavirus epidemic has not become a pandemic but an outbreak with multiple foresides.

The reason behind that judgment is that 78 percent of cases in China so far have come from Hubei province, which is the epicenter of the outbreak, Dr. Sylvie Briand, director of the Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness at WHO, said at a briefing in Geneva.

Dr. Briand said that the Chinese authority has put in place "mitigation measures" to reduce the transmission to outside Hubei, and also been building hospitals to treat patients and reduce mortality.

While outside Hubei and in other countries, the current strategy is to stop the transmission. The WHO believes that strategy can be done, said Dr. Briand.

She urged efforts to fend off "info-demic," or rumors and false information circulating at the same time, which Dr. Briand said could hamper measures to combat the virus.

The Japanese government is also urging the public to remain calm and resist a growing number of social media rumors containing false information amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, a number of baseless claims as well as groundless rumors have recently appeared on the internet, prompting government officials to clarify.

"People may feel uneasy because we know relatively little about the virus, but it is important to exercise vigilance against it with correct information," an official said.

Zimbabwean Health Minister Obadiah Moyo on Thursday expressed strong belief in China's capacity to contain the virus.

"We are very confident, and we are very pleased with the efforts that the Chinese government is making right now," Moyo said during a joint news conference with the Chinese embassy's charge d'affaires Zhao Baogang.

China has made commendable strides in containing the virus, said Moyo, noting that its researchers are already working on producing a vaccine.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a Thursday press conference that on Feb. 11 and 12, a global research and innovation forum is to be held in Geneva to identify research priorities and coordinate the international research effort to find therapeutics and vaccines against the virus.

The WHO chief said that one of the key challenges for now is coordinating research funders to support key priorities, as a lot of donors want to help.

"We need to be led by facts, not fear; by science, not rumors; we're letting science lead," he reiterated.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that Turkey is ready to share its capacity and experience with China in its fight against the novel coronavirus.

Noting that Turkey stands with the people of China in these "challenging" days, Koca said "we believe that our Chinese colleagues and the government will overcome this problem as soon as possible."

"Regarding the coronavirus epidemic, the world should be in solidarity with the Chinese people without waiting for an invitation," Koca added.