Consul General Fei Mingxing: China's Efforts to Fight Covid-19

On 17 March 2020, The Mercury carried an article by Consul General Fei Mingxing entitled China's Efforts to Fight Covid-19. The full text is as follows:



In China, the number of infectious cases of Covid-19 have been decreasing for days. However, the disease has swept into more countries and caused an increasing number of deaths. South Africa has 62 confirmed cases so far.


Could China's progress in fighting the virus shed light on global efforts?


Strong leadership


Right after the outbreak of Covid-19, Chinamade arrangements to strengthen and unify leadership over the prevention and control of the epidemic.


On January 25, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, General Secretary Xi Jinping, who is also the President of the country, chaired the highest level meeting of the Communist Party of China.


The decision was taken to form a central leading group and to dispatch a central guiding team to Wuhan city of Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak of the virus.


Two days later, Premier Li Keqiang, who heads the central leading group, arrived in Wuhan to offer instructions on epidemic control and prevention.


Counties, cities and districts conducted analyses of their local population, made science-based classification of the virus riskand,accordingly, took the appropriate prevention and control strategies.


Wuhan, home to more than 10 million people, was locked down. All urban public transportation was suspended. The airports and rail stations were closed.


Businesses were suspended and public events canceled. With the"all-of-government and all-of-society" approach, China averted or delayed hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 cases in the country, the World Health Orginazition (WHO) said.


People's war


The virus kills. Saving people's life is paramount. Xi Jinpingdeclared a "people's war" to fight this invisible enemy by mobilizing the whole country.


About 42,600 medics were dispatched to Hubei. One-tenth of the country's intensive care specialists rushed in; 86 hospitals were designated to treat patients.


Everything from surgical masks to advanced life-support systems were transported to Hubei, including 67 ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) pumps and 17,000 ventilators.


Around the country, professionals from universities, research institutes and businesses worked around the clock to improve diagnostics and develop vaccines and medicines. The latest rapid-testing kit can show results in 15 minutes.


And the government made it clear: once confirmed, patients should not be worried about any expenses. The treatment is free.


"I was so impressed by the people of China,"  Bruce Aylward of WHO said, "They really saw themselves as being on the front lines of protecting the rest of China - and the world."


Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong said, "The people, and the people alone, are the force in the making of world history." The Chinese people believe it and are united in adversity.


Innovative approach


Chinese people tapped into their capacity and potential.


To help slow down the rapidly spreading virus, the public holiday was extended, and restaurant, parks and schools were closed.


Two hi-tech hospitals, Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, in Wuhan City were specially designed and constructed to meet the increasing needs of treating patients with mild symptoms. Convention and exhibition halls and sports venues were converted.


5G wireless technology was applied. Long-distance medical treatment took place. A doctor anywhere in China could study a real time CT scan in Wuhan.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) played an increasingly important rolethroughout the entire process of treatment and rehabilitation.


Robots and drones were deployed to remotely disinfect hospitals, deliver foodand enforce quarantine restrictions. The digital health certificate was introduced in Hubei. Via a mobile app, each resident was granted a colored health QR code.


The general public channelled their creativity. Innovative, artistic and sporting shows streamed on-line. Shouts of "Wuhan Jiayou" (Come on, Wuhan) were heard echoing between the city's high-rise apartment blocks, streets and communities.


International solidarity


More than 170 state leaders and more than 40 heads of international and regional organizations expressed sympathy and support for China. About 70 countries and international orgnizations have provided, or committed to provide, assistance in cash or in kind.


Pakistan tapped into its national hospital reserves to donate medical materials, including medical masks, protective suits and gloves to China.


Teachers and students of the Durban University of Technology and Durban Music School produced video clips of support.


Chinese people around the world acted promptly to assist, donating medical supplies and voicing global solidarity against fearmongering and the spreading of rumors.   


"It is clear that there is a massive effort that is being made by China in order to contain the disease and avoid its propagation. I think that effort is remarkable." said AntónioGuterres, Secretary General of the UN.


While China is clearing up its home battlefield, it is worried about people of other countries. 


On March 12, the Chinese foreign spokesman announced that China was ready to contribute to the global response. Within days, China's teams of disease-control experts and medical suppliesarrived in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Italy.


China's success is proof that the virus can be contained. However, unless we are all in this together, no country is safe.