Spreading of coronavirus in and from China under effective control


Lin Songtian, Ambassador of China to South Africa.

Cape Town - Since last December, the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP) in Wuhan, Hubei and China as a whole has been drawing high attention worldwide, and also gets all-dimensional supports from the international community, especially from South Africa and Africa. 

We highly appreciate the concerted efforts and support from the world. Hereby, I would like to share the latest epidemic situations, and the inspiring results of the control measures as following:

As of 24:00 on February 11, the China National Health Commission of China had received 44,653 reports of confirmed cases of NCP and 1113 deaths in 31 provincial-level regions on mainland China, and in all 4 740 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital. There still remained 38 800 confirmed cases (including 8 204 in serious condition) and 16 067 suspected cases. So far, 451 462 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients, and 185 037 of them are now under medical observation. 

As of 24:00 on February 1,177 confirmed infections had been reported in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan,China: 49 in Hong Kong (1 death), 18 in Taiwan (1 discharged from hospital), 10 in Macao (1 discharged from hospital).

According to the data released by the China National Health Commission since January 21, 2020, the number of new confirmed cases in China reached a peak of 3 887 on February 4, and then continued to decline for the following 8 days, dropping to 2,015 on February 10.The number of new suspected cases peaked at 5,328 on February 5 and then continued to decline to 3 342 on February 11.Since February 5, the number of new cured patients has increased significantly, reaching 744 on February 11, with the total number of cured patients reaching 4 740 and the cure rate reaching 9.4%, registering a substantial rise.The total number of deaths on February 11 was 97. So far, a total of 1 113 deaths have been recorded nationwide, with a mortality rate of 2.38%.

In Hubei Province, the epicenter, the number of new confirmed cases reached a peak of 3 156 on February 4, and then continued to decline to 1,638 on February 11. The number of new suspected cases reached a peak of 3,260 on February 2, and then gradually declined to 1 685 on February 11. Since February 7, more than 300 patients have been cured every day. Since February 10, more than 400 people were cured and discharged from hospital per day. A total of 2 639 patients have been cured so far in Hubei, with a cure rate of more than 7%, much higher than the figure 1.7% at the very beginning of the outbreak.The total number of deaths on February 11 was 94, with a cumulative total death toll of 1 068 with a mortality rate of 3.1%.

Except Hubei, the number of new confirmed cases in other provinces reached at 890 on February 3 and has continued to decline for seven consecutive days since then, dropping to 377 on February 11.The number of new suspected cases reached at 2 211 on February 6 and continued to decline to 1,722 on Feb. 10.Since Feb.4, more than 100 new patients have been cured every day, and 327 new patients were cured on February  11, with a cumulative total number of 2 101 cured cases and a cured rate of 16.2%.The total of 45 deaths have been recorded outside Hubei in China, with a mortality rate of 0.39%, accounting for only 4% of the national total.

As of 8:00 am of February 10, a total of 27 out of millions of foreign nationals in China had been diagnosed with Novel Coronary Pneumonia, of whom 3 had been cured and discharged from the hospitals, 2 had died (the related country had been notified),and 22 are receiving medical treatment.

There are about 500 000 foreign students studying in Mainland China. Among them, there are more than 80,000 African students, of whom 5,000 in Wuhan.There are about 3,000 South African students in China, including 165 in Hubei province. So far, there has been no confirmed case of the NCP infection among South African students.

Based on the above data, it is clear that China's epidemic control measures have achieved positive results, and the effectiveness of its treatment program is growing. The number of new confirmed cases in all provinces except Hubei has declined for 8 consecutive days since February 3, and the number of new suspected cases has declined for 5 consecutive days since February 6. The spreading trends of the NCP epidemic both in Hubei province, the epicenter and other provinces have been brought under effective control nationwide.Foreign nationals including the foreign students in China have been properly protected.

For countries outside China, the total number of confirmed cases stands only at 395, accounting for only 0.8% of the global total.Since Feb.4, the number of countries except China with confirmed cases has been limited to 24, and no more countries have reported confirmed cases for the following five days. As of Feb.11, there has been only one death outside China, with a mortality rate of 0.33%.

According to the statistics released by the WHO, before February 4, the confirmed cases outside China were mainly from people coming from China with travel history to Hubei, such as the confirmed cases in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. However, since February 5, the significant increase in the number of confirmed cases is mainly caused by the evacuation of their nationals or cruise ships, by the United States, Japan, South Korea, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, and other countries evacuating their nationals from China, and the infection reported on board the Japan's Diamond Princess cruise ship.

It is easy to tell from the above data that the Chinese government has taken effective and resolute measures to contain the NCP epidemic within its territory, and effectively curb and cut off the spread of the epidemic from China. China has fully demonstrated its responsibility as a major country in the world. Facts once again prove that it is the safest, cheapest, and wise and right choice for the foreign nationals to stay in China now and to strictly follow China's prevention and control measures and instructions.

According to media reports in the United States, the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak in the United States affected 214 countries and regions in the world and caused nearly 300 000 deaths, and the mortality rate exceeded 17%. According to the CDC of the USA, over 37 000 people died of flu in the US every year between 2010 and 2019. From October 1 2019 to January 25, 2020, the flu in the US has infected 19 million people and killed about 10 000. 

Even under those situations in the US, China always expressed our sympathy to the US instead of evacuating people from the USA, issuing traveling bans, suspending airlines to create any unnecessary panic in the world because we think US is the only super power in the world and always talks so highly about human rights can and will take concrete and effective measures to protect their people and ours.

But it is unfortunate to see that the US took six months to declare a public health emergency and did not invest enough resources and take effective measures to protect the safety and health of their own people and the peoples of other countries. This is the US human rights and freedom. All public figures and media from the US and other western countries chose to keep silence. This is the so-called justice and freedom of speech of the US and the West!

The US and some Western countries ignored the positive results achieved by the Chinese government’s prevention and control measures, as well as its effective protection of foreign nationals in China, blatantly disregarded WHO’s professional and scientific recommendations, and went ahead to raise the travel warning level to China, suspend all flights to and from China so as to create international panic. Such an evil intention of politicizing the epidemic by the US and its followers is running against the basic moral principles of mankind.

Fortunately, we noticed that H.E. President Donald Trump of the US recently spoke highly of and expressed support to China's fight against the NCP epidemic during a telephonic call with President Xi Jinping, as well as its willingness to send experts to China to provide assistance and donate US$ 100 million to China and other countries to fight together against the NCP epidemic. It is our sincere belief that the US commitments to working with China to defeat this common enemy of humanity will become a reality.

China always believes that to contain and eradicate the NCP epidemic in China and the world at an early date serves not only the best interest of the entire Chinese people, but also the common interests of people of the world, and requires the concerted efforts of the international community. 

To this end, China always follows the principle of timely, open and transparent updates and releases of epidemic information. China has adopted decisive national joint prevention and control measures and scientifically innovative treatment programme, demonstrating a courageous, responsible major country that truly fulfills its international obligations. 

At the same time, China has carried out fruitful exchanges and cooperation with the WHO and Africa and other friendly countries both timely and effectively, and has formed an effective international prevention and control systems. This is exemplified by the absence of confirmed cases in Africa to date.

The Chinese government and people have made huge sacrifices in the fight against the NCP epidemic, firmly safeguarded the health and life safety of the peoples of China and the world, made new contributions to and set up a good example and new standard for the cause of world public health and human rights. China is ready to carry out further close exchanges and cooperation in epidemic prevention and control experience with the international community, especially those kind and friendly countries such as South Africa and Africa, so as to jointly cope with the common challenges and build a community of a shared future for mankind.

* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.