SHENYANG, May 6 (Xinhua) -- In a short selfie video shot at an expressway service station Saturday, Mario Cavolo, an Italian American writer, was showing how mask-wearing station staff were carefully taking his body temperature at the restroom entrance.
Cavolo has lived in China for more than two decades, having spent time in many cities across China and eventually settled in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, with his family.
He was in the day on a business trip to Fuxin, a city about two hours' drive from Shenyang. A new facility of the Asia Pacific Business Leaders Club, where he serves as vice chairman, was about to be launched there.
"I cannot express how deeply thankful I am that my family is here in China and in Shenyang," Cavolo said. "The vast majority of foreign friends I know feel we are in one of the safest possible places."
The National Health Commission of China said Saturday that it received only one new confirmed COVID-19 case on the Chinese mainland the day before, which was an imported case, marking the lowest increase since Jan. 16.
Also, starting Saturday, central China's Hubei Province, the Chinese region once hardest hit by the coronavirus, lowered its emergency response to the COVID-19 epidemic from the highest to the second-highest level.
Cavolo has been giving updates, 12 articles to be exact, over the past months since his first LinkedIn article to balance the negative narratives surrounding how China handled the outbreak went viral in February.
In his latest article, titled "If you still don't understand how China succeeded stopping the virus, read this and be forever enlightened," he refuted the groundless speculations regarding China's progress in epidemic control.
What China has achieved in fighting the virus is because of the extremely disciplined controls, he wrote. "There is no conspiracy, there are no lies."
Cavolo said what he noticed more than anything is a persistent level of confusion and misinformation. It was what made him realize that his articles were desperately needed.
"In my case, I am a witness on the ground in China, along with hundreds of thousands of other foreigners living in China having the same experience, seeing the same things happening," he said.
The reason China got the virus under control in such a short time seemed crystal clear to Cavolo. The government took strict measures, and "every person at all times outside wears a mask. It is mandatory, not optional."
"Actions speak louder than words in life and saving lives was the first and only priority here in China, knowing full well that meant falling on the economic sword as a united act of civic duty and sacrifice," he wrote.
As of now, cities across China have rolled out a health QR code app. Every Chinese citizen has it on their mobile devices. People need to scan their codes when entering malls or other public service venues.
Cavolo was glad to see China is getting back to normal, with shopping malls much busier, and sales rebounding.
"It shows the public's confidence in the prospect of a victory over the epidemic and the enthusiasm for reclaiming their social life," he said, noting that people remain vigilant because they know that the virus still exists and there is a possibility of a comeback.
Cavolo called for an end to speculation and political garbage as scientists around the world are right now still actively working on identifying the origins and paths of the virus.
The Chinese government has implemented epidemic prevention and control work on a regular basis as cases of COVID-19 are dwindling in the country, which Cavolo called "the new reality for many months to come."
"There are no new cases and when a few crop up, the controls here are quickly put back in place," he said. "And I must give the thumbs up to China's meticulous measures." Enditem