SCIO briefing on the cooperation between China and the int'l community in fighting COVID-19

The State Council Information Office (SCIO) held a press conference Thursday morning in Beijing to introduce the cooperation between China and the international community in fighting COVID-19. March 28, 2020

Hong Kong Economic Herald:

We all know that China has sent medical expert teams to Italy, Serbia and Cambodia to help fight the pandemic. What are the main tasks of these experts? What work have they done there? Thank you. 

Zeng Yixin:

Thank you for your questions. The outbreak of the coronavirus has now become a global pandemic. Pandemics know no borders, and the world is a community with a shared future that shares weal and woe. Many countries are facing pressure and challenges in terms of epidemic prevention and control. We can completely relate to what they are going through because we have also been through this. Many countries gave precious support to China at the critical moment in its fight against the virus. Under the premise that the outbreak has been basically under control in our country, we are willing to uphold the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and take concrete actions to support the prevention and control of the virus in these countries by sending medical expert teams, conveying our confidence in overcoming the pandemic. We will stand with other countries around the world to tide over the pandemic.

As for Chinese medical teams working in Italy, Serbia and Cambodia at the invitation of the three governments, we have followed the decisions of the central leadership and dispatched anti-epidemic medical teams including public health experts, epidemiologists, clinical medical experts, psychologists and TCM experts. The expert teams have shared experiences and exchanged ideas with local medical and health institutes and experts, introducing China's experience and strategy in fighting the epidemic, and offering guidance and advices on disease prevention and control, clinical diagnosis and treatment, and community management in light of local conditions. Meanwhile, under the premise of abiding by local laws and regulations, and with the support of local embassies and consulates, the expert teams have also provided medical and health guidance and assistance to local Chinese communities. This work is also very important, because people in many countries have little knowledge of the disease and they are prone to anxiety. Our experts have answered their questions at each step forward in gaining some knowledge and experience of dealing with the disease. All of this is of great help to the local authorities.

In Serbia, a team of Chinese medical experts was invited twice to attend the meeting of the country's epidemic prevention and control command. Serbia has spoken highly of the knowledge and expertise of the experts and has adjusted and decided their own work orientation in epidemic prevention and control as well as treatment. In Cambodia, as Mr. Luo and Mr. Xu have already introduced, the arrival of the Chinese medic group was broadcast live on the official Facebook page of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen. At present, the team is working with its Cambodian counterparts in joint epidemic prevention and control. In Italy, a team of Chinese medical experts offered advice on epidemic prevention and control, which has been highly valued.

Next, we will follow the overall decision by the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council, continue our efforts in dispatching teams of medical experts abroad and provide all assistance we can to relevant countries. Thank you.

Deng Boqing:

I'd like to add a few words about the supply aid to Italy. There are two things that impressed me most regarding Italy. The first is that Italy was the first country that dispatched the medical team to support earthquake-hit Sichuan province after the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008. The second is that the Italian government and people provided badly needed materials to assist China not long ago when we were at a critical moment of combating Covid-19. We remember all of these generous acts. Just as a saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed.

The pandemic in Italy is still severe. We also feel anxious every day about the increased number of new cases. We have seen many medical staff in Italy are facing a shortage in medical supplies. In such a situation, China has instantly shipped emergency medical supplies to Italy on chartered aircraft. At the recommendation of the E.U., a total of 2 million surgical masks, 200,00 medical N95 masks and 50,000 testing kits China offered have been delivered to Italy. We will see their efficacy in the coming days. The second team of Chinese medical experts arrived in Milan with a banner quoting a saying of the ancient Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, "We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, and flowers of the same garden." International solidarity and cooperation are vital for battling a pandemic. We believe that the Italian government and people will finally win the battle against the pandemic with the joint efforts of countries all over the world.

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