OPINIONS Observer: Global cooperation, the most powerful weapon against pandemic


Observer: Global cooperation, the most powerful weapon against pandemic

By Chen Lidan | People's Daily app

10:33, May 19, 2020

Observer.jpgEvery country must do everything they can to contain the pandemic, a task the Chinese president identified as the most urgent one as he addressed the global virtual meeting of the 73rd session of World Health Assembly (WHA) on Monday. 

The novel coronavirus has turned the world upside down over the past few months but the fight is far from over as there is still no cure at hand. Health experts have warned of no quick end of the COVID-19 pandemic and more effort is needed to figure out the unsolved mysteries of the virus and develop safe vaccines, which is likely the best way out of current crisis. 

As always, the COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied with many severe side effects like xenophobia and rampant conspiracy theories. At this critical moment of saving lives as a paramount task, we see politicians in some countries exploit people’s fear and sense of uncertainty, attempting to distract from their own failures and seek political gains at the cost of eroding global cooperation. 

A typical example is when seven wealthy countries convened in March for working out collective principles and actions to confront the coronavirus. The meeting ended up with division because US State Secretary Mike Pompeo insisted to include the discriminative description of “Wuhan virus” into the joint statement. 

Some governments launched relentless attacks against the World Health Organization (WHO) when the world is looking at the UN body to offer response guidelines and coordinate global resources for people and countries that are vulnerable. 

Previous pandemics have proven before that global health crises need united and coordinated solutions. As the country where the novel pathogen was first reported, China shared the hard-earned information and experience in a timely, open and transparent manner. 

When the dire situation abated at home, China immediately reached out to other countries with medical professionals and supplies to help other parts of the world to weather through the storm. China’s anti-virus external assistance is the most intensive and wide-ranging emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

To cement global synergy, in his WHA speeches President Xi Jinping made six proposals, pledging more concrete support to the pandemic response, global public health security and remedies for the least developed countries.

The raging coronavirus pandemic may not be the last time a major health emergency comes to disrupt the world’s order and reshape its future. COVID-19 has laid bare inadequacies in everyone’s preparedness for a public health crisis and once again shows no country can shut the virus out or conquer it alone. Global solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon we can rely on to defeat the lethal virus and build the post-pandemic world into a better place for all.

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