Consul General Fei Mingxing: China Committed to Fight Against Virus

On 10 February 2020, The Mercury carried an article by Consul General Fei Mingxing entitled China Committed to Fight Against Virus. The full text is as follows:


In Durban, thousands of kilometers away from China, people keep asking me about the 2019-nCov epidemic. Touched by their kindness, I feel obliged to keep all friends informed of what has been happening.


In December 2019, the first case of 2019-nCov epidemic infection was diagnosed in Wuhan. Quickly China adopted a whole-of-government approach with full social mobilization against the epidemic.


Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee  and Chinese President, instructed the whole party and governments at all levels to pay the highest attention to containing the epidemic and curing the patients. Premier Li Keqiang chaired the central leading group on battling the 2019-nCov epidemic.


The Chinese government mandated a quarantine of Wuhan city, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 23. Thirty one provinces and municipalities of the country,  including Beijing and Shanghai, have taken measures on first-level response.


Medical institutions across China, including those of the People's Liberation Army, rushed to dispatch medical personnel to Wuhan.


Within 10 days, Huoshenshan Hospital, with 1,000 beds, and Leishenshan Hospital, with 1,600 beds, in Wuhan have been built and put into operations, following the model of Xiaotangshan Hospital built in 2003 to treat the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) victims in Beijing. More makeshift medical service centers, such as Mobile Cabin Hospitals, were set up to provide rooms/beds and care/treatment of suspected and confirmed patients.


Meanwhile, all affected regions introduced strict measures of identifying and caring for symptomatic patients, advising and monitoring people with Wuhan travel records to self-quarantine.


Restrictive measures, such as migration control and mass quarantine, in addition to price control and quality supervision were also taken.


Enterprises and the general public are contributing enormously to the combat of the virus. Factories managed to restore their manufacturing capacities for medical supplies, such as masks and prevention suits, despite that most of them are understaffed, under-supplied, and under-funded during holiday season.


By February 4, China had resumed 67% of its mask-production capacity, making 14.8 million masks a day. Corporate giants such as Alibaba and Fosun International Limited have made overseas purchases to supply urgently needed medical equipment. Tencent set up platforms providing online services such as information disclosure and medical advice.


People across the country observed the government instructions, postponing and canceling their scheduled gatherings and planned holidays. The first-ever quiet Spring Festival was celebrated by hundreds of millions of families with innovative at-home activities. The initial anxiety and concerns were calmed down, along with stream information disclosure, which boosted public morale and contributed to the most rapid social mobilization for epidemic prevention and control ever witnessed by human record.


Public donations to Wuhan and the rest of China have been increasing since the beginning of the battle, from home and abroad.


Scientists in China, and indeed all over the world, continue their endeavor for effective treatment and a vaccine.


The fighting is now at critical stage, with the nation united and determined for victory  on the horizon.


Since its outbreak, the virus has been quickly spreading across China and to more than 20 countries. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019-nCov epidemic a "public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)." The WHO "welcomed the leadership and political commitment of the very highest levels of Chinese government, their commitment to transparency, and the efforts made to investigate and contain the current outbreak. China quickly identified the virus and shared its sequence, so that other countries could diagnose it quickly and protect themselves, which has resulted in the rapid development of diagnostic tools." That was well received in China and by the international community.


China is not fighting alone. More and more countries have lent their hands to China in one way or another. South Africa, China's comprehensive strategic partner, has a heart for China, the same as China for South Africa.


On February 2, to support China's fight against the virus, Universal Safety Products (USP), a South African manufacturer of medical supplies, handed over 30,000 EEP 9 masks as a donation to Chinese Ambassador Lin Songtian in Pretoria. It also committed itself to double its production capacity within 2 weeks and all products will be exported to China in need.


On February 3, the ANC Statement on the Outbreak of Coronavirus says the ANC " joins all patriotic and peace-loving nations of the world pledging solidarity with the People's Republic of China in their continued quest to control and the spread of the Coronavirus.


"The ANC has confidence in the capacity and commitment of the Chinese government to defeat this global emergency and wish to assure the people of China will never walk alone".


On February 5, the Minister of Health South Africa released an update on the  coronavirus reading: "The South African Department of Health, continues to closely monitor the rapidly evolving developments surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.


"There is still no recommendation to restrict travel or trade with China. We have not put any restriction on travel or trade between China and South Africa. We are encouraged by the emerging statistics which show that as the numbers of affected people increases, the morbidity and mortality rate decreases".


The same day, the South African Communist Party (SACP) released a statement confirming it "joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in welcoming 'the leadership and political commitment of the very highest levels of Chinese government, their commitment to transparency, and the efforts made to investigate and contain the current outbreak' of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)".


Since the outbreak of the virus, more and more Chinese community members in South Africa have been making donations of masks and other medical supplies to China.


As advised by the Chinese Embassy to South Africa, many of them canceled their family reunion journey to China.


Those who had arrived in China before the outbreak of the virus have postponed their return booking or had self-quanainteed themselves for 14 days upon arrival.


A Zulu brother gave a thumbs up when he learnt how China had been fighting. A principal of a secondary school sent a bilingual message to me in Chinese and English: "Zhongguo Jiayou. Come on, China. Wuhan Jiayou. Come on, Wuhan".


A young South African doctor in Wenzhou city, Zhejiang Province chose to stay and hold his ground in the wake of the epidemic.


"I'm a doctor and it is Wenzhou that made me who I am. Now the city needs me,"said Brett Lyndall Singh who is studying in China and now a clinical clerk at a hospital in Wenzhou. "I have faith in this city."


In times of difficulty, we can feel our South African brothers and sisters standing firmly with us. What I would like to say to them is: China and Chinese people are united, determined and racing against time in combating the virus. We shall prevail over the virus soon and it will be a victory of ours as well as yours.