by Peerzada Arshad Hamid
NEW DELHI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- China's cooperation with other countries to combat the COVID-19 epidemic has contributed significantly to the global fight against the disease, said Mohammed Saqib, secretary-general of India China Economic and Cultural Council (ICEC).
"After getting some rest from battling the epidemic, China has stepped up physical aid, communication and cooperation with the world. It offered the world some effective measures to eradicate the pandemic," Saqib told Xinhua.
The way China has dealt with the alarming situation also sets an example for the world to follow, Saqib said.
So far the situation in India is not grim, said Saqib. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India on Saturday rose to 258 with four deaths.
The Indian government has asked people to avoid crowds and unnecessary foreign travel. Local governments in most Indian states have closed educational institutions, clubs, cinemas, gyms, museums and swimming pools until March 31.
Major sport events were cancelled in the country. All entry of international commercial passenger flights will be banned from Sunday for one week.
Saqib spoke highly of the assistance China provided to the rest of the world, saying the country shared diagnosis, treatment experience and protocols crucial for identifying infections.
"China is going all out to assist other countries in these trying times by providing financial aid, human resources and medical products. More importantly, China has set a model for the world to deal with such a catastrophe," Saqib said.
China also held video conferences with the European Union, ASEAN, and the African Union, among other regional bodies, he noted.
China has provided testing reagents to many countries and organizations, dispatched an expert team to Italy to help with prevention and control work, and sent medical supplies by the tons to the rest of the world.
On Friday, officials from the Indian Foreign Ministry and Health Ministry attended a video conference with China, during which they exchanged information on combating the epidemic.
"China stands ready to cooperate with India in fighting the COVID-19 and provide support and assistance within our capacity," China's Ambassador in India Sun Weidong wrote on Twitter.
The ICEC is a non-profit organization that works to enhance understanding and cooperation between India and China through policy discussions, business summits, cultural events and exchanges of high level delegations.