File photo: Xinhua
China is taking extraordinary measures to deal with the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, officially named COVID-19. As World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tudors Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, China set a new standard for outbreak response. Yet, despite the sacrifice for a greater good, China’s critics have accused the country of being inhumane. This claim is absurd.
While media outlets such as The Guardian have admitted that China’s measures to contain the disease have delayed transmission to the rest of the world, they also cite critics who claim that China’s behavior is “typical of its disregard for human rights.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping has directed governmental agencies at all levels to put the health and security of people first. The “tough measures” that some foreign media outlets have decried as inhumane, such as locking down the city of Wuhan, are the result of difficult decisions and great sacrifice for the Chinese people and are for the sake of protecting public health both domestically and abroad.
Those strong measures are working to keep the deadly coronavirus in check. Dr. Tudors has pointed out that the massive efforts China has taken to contain the outbreak, despite the severe social and economic impact that they are having on China, is the reason we have not seen many more cases outside of China.
The definition of inhumane is without compassion for misery or suffering. There is nothing to suggest that the measures China has taken to contain the coronavirus are for the sake of cruelty, and to argue otherwise is just ridiculous and shows ignorance and insensitivity.
China is the world’s most populous country, and yet everyone is on the same page to end this epidemic as soon as possible. Not only has the government allocated billions of dollars to combat the virus but also ordinary people are doing whatever they can to help in this battle. In about 10 days, China built two specialized hospitals in Wuhan and numerous other makeshift hospitals. How many countries can quickly unite and mobilize the full weight of its resources to tackle a serious problem head on?
There have been bumps in the road but it is clear that China has placed humanity at the center of its all-out efforts. Locking down Wuhan, a city of some 11 million was an unprecedented effort to combat the deadly novel coronavirus. China is perhaps the only country in the world that can take such extraordinary measures at the drop of a hat. The unprecedented and unrivalled actions China has taken demonstrate the strength and advantage of China’s system.
Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNBC recently that China’s strategy shows promise. “The degree with which they have shut down travel through major cities ... is really unprecedented,” he said in the interview, adding that China did this to make sure that the coronavirus does not spread further throughout China or outside of China into other countries.
The response has not been perfect but we should understand that the coronavirus outbreak is a very serious and fluid situation, and there is no instruction book to follow. As with anything, there is room for criticism, but China has really shown bravery in its response.
The right to life and the right to health are basic human rights.The“heroic measures” China has taken to protect the Chinese people and the people of the world are strong protection of human rights.