On January 30, Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, met with the media at the UN headquarters to brief them on the decisive and strong measures taken by China to combat novel coronavirus.
Ambassador Zhang said that tackling the outbreak is the most important and urgent task for the Chinese government. The outbreak has posed a serious threat to lives and health security of the Chinese people. President Xi Jinping always puts lives and health security first and has made important instructions and comprehensive deployment. The Chinese government has taken prompt, strong and scientific measures. All of China is in action, sparing no effort to save lives and curb the spread of virus. As WHO Director-General Dr Tedros said, China's response is unprecedented. China has demonstrated its speed, strength and effectiveness and won praise from the international community.
Ambassador Zhang said that we have reason to be confident in defeating the epidemic. The situation remains challenging. But we should also see that the measures taken by China are showing positive effects. Medical teams from other provinces have arrived in Hubei. Medical supplies are being delivered. New hospitals are built and put into use. So far, 132 patients have been cured and discharged, including 80-year-olds. Moreover, with strict measures controlling the movement of people, the momentum of the spread of virus is being curbed within and outside China. All these encouraging developments show that the epidemic is preventable, controllable and curable.
Ambassador Zhang said that China has been conducting international cooperation in an open, transparent and responsible manner. We have released information to WHO, relevant countries and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions of China at the earliest time and shared genetic sequence of the virus, facilitating timely and effective response by various parties. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had telephone conversations with his foreign counterparts, keeping close communication on the situation. Attaching great importance to the safety of foreign nationals in China, we keep foreign embassies and consulates informed through various channels and work hard to address their difficulties. China's responsible action has won full recognition of WHO and countries around the world.
Regarding WHO's declaration of the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern, Ambassador Zhang said that Director-General Tedros clearly stated that the main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China. It is about protecting countries with weaker health systems and which are ill-prepared to deal with potential spread. WHO continues to have confidence in China's capacity to control the outbreak. There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. WHO doesn't recommend limiting trade and movement. The Director-General's recommendations should be seriously considered. Under current circumstances, solidarity is what the world needs. The epidemic is occurring mainly in China, with limited spread to other countries. China has made enormous contribution to the world with its concrete actions. All countries should adopt a responsible attitude, work together to combat the virus, and avoid overreaction that may result in more negative spillover effects.