Facts and Fallacies on China's fight against COVID-19(Ⅰ)
2020/04/13

While countries around the world are battling COVID-19, some politicians and media are spreading fallacies on China's fight against the virus, which are harmful political virus that undermine international efforts. From today on, we'd like to distribute a series of newsletters to highlight the facts as opposed to the fallacies.

Fallacy I: 

"China's early cover-up has allowed the virus to disperse from Wuhan to the world".

Fact:

I. The coronavirus is novel virus unseen in the past. Naturally the detection, research, testing and confirmation of COVID-19 requires time. Any responsible government confronting such a challenge must gather necessary and solid scientific evidence before making an announcement.

II. A dip into the timeline of China's response will find the so-called early cover-up does not has a leg to stand on.

--In late December last year, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected cases of pneumonia of unknown cause.

--On Dec. 30, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an urgent notification ordering efforts to appropriately treat patients with pneumonia of unknown cause.

--On the next day, the National Health Commission (NHC) sent a working group and an expert team to Wuhan to conduct on-site investigations.

--Starting Jan 3, China has been regularly informing the WHO, relevant countries and regions about the pneumonia outbreak.

--On Jan 12, the Chinese CDC submitted to the WHO the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus and shared globally.

--On Jan 13, The WHO pointed out that China's sharing of the genome sequence enabled more countries to quickly diagnose patients.

--On Jan. 15, the NHC unveiled the first version of guidelines on diagnosis and treatment for pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus, along with the guidelines on prevention and control measures.

--On Jan. 19, the NHC distributed nucleic acid testing reagents to health departments across the country.

--On Jan 22, The 2019nCoVR, a database developed by the China National Center for Bioinformation was officially launched to release worldwide novel coronavirus genome and information on variation analysis.

--On Jan. 23, Wuhan was put under lockdown and unprecedented measures were taken.

The full text of the Timeline of China Releasing Information on COVID-19 and Advancing International Cooperation on Epidemic Response is linked here :

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-04/06/c_138951662.htm

As is seen by all, China is fast, open, transparent and responsible in epidemic response and information sharing. The Chinese government took the most comprehensive, thorough and rigorous prevention and control measures at the earliest time possible, which have been proven to be highly effective and brought precious time for the world to prepare. As the WHO puts it, China has taken the most courageous, most flexible and most active measures, which altered the dangerous course of the virus' quick spread and prevented hundreds of thousands of infections nationwide. A paper published by the journal Science on Mar. 31 by researchers in the United States, the UK and other countries saying that China's control measures worked by successfully breaking the chain of transmission and bought other countries valuable time.

III. Blaming China allowing the spread of the virus to the world neither holds water.

When Wuhan was locked down on January 23, there were only 9 cases outside of China. But in late February, one month later, the epidemic broke out in Europe and America. Just as The LANCET's editor-in-chief Richard Horton said to BBC on 26th March, "the message from the Chinese epidemic situation is very clear...We knew that 11 weeks ago, and then we wasted February when we could have acted ".

When Australia announced a total travel ban on China on Feb.1st, there are only 15 confirmed cases in Australia. Even after a period of time until Feb.19, the total confirmed cases in Australia still remained at 15. But from the beginning of March, increase of the confirmed cases in Australia started to accelerate. According to the pie charts depicting COVID-19 cases acquired overseas, released by the Health Department of Australia, the largest group of confirmed cases came from Europe. The second acquired from cruise ships, and the third imported from the Americas. The three accounted for more than 80 per cent of all the cases acquired overseas. And the locally acquired cases in Australia accounted for more than 30% of all cases.

The virus respects no borders and every country affected is the victim of it. Facing the scourge of our common enemy, we must pull together to win this battle. Playing politics and shifting blame will lead us to nowhere. China stands ready to continue its cooperation with the rest of the world to beat the virus.

 

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of Australia
Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Tel: 0061-2-62283999, Fax: 0061-2-62283836
E-mail: chinaemb_au@mfa.gov.cn
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