Rationality and unity needed in fight against virus

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/27 12:05:17

Zhou Xianwang, the mayor of Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, where the ongoing spread of coronavirus pneumonia began, said at a press conference on Sunday night that more than 5 million people have left the city because of the Spring Festival and the epidemic. The news came as quite a shock.

Where have these 5 million people gone? How many of them are carriers of the new coronavirus? How many people will be infected because of them? These questions are disturbing.

The outflow of 5 million people demonstrates the severity of the country's current situation concerning the disease's prevention and control. It has to be pointed out that it is very regrettable that the city failed to take necessary emergency measures to prevent that many people from traveling across the country as this makes it especially difficult for the country to prevent and control the epidemic. The city should face the fact that the public is strongly dissatisfied with this.

At the same time, it is believed that the 5 million people did not all leave Wuhan intentionally to avoid the epidemic. Wuhan has the largest concentration of university students nationwide. It is only natural for students to leave for winter vacation. Moreover, Wuhan released a serious official notice of the disease rather late and the city didn't start to urge people not to leave until recently. Therefore, we should not vent our anger on the people who have left Wuhan just because the outbreak of the virus started from that city. At this point, the Chinese people should look at this situation rationally.

The most important thing at the moment is to lessen the risk posed by these 5 million people as much as possible and try to avoid this risk turning into real jeopardy.

For this reason,  media should work to increase awareness about the situation and encourage the outflow population to notify relevant authorities of their current location of residence and proactively isolate themselves.

Meanwhile, the entirety of Chinese society must adopt this view - investigation of the epidemic and isolation because of the disease do not equal discrimination.

We must avoid the situation that people from the epidemic areas want to conceal their identities out of fear of being discriminated against.  We also must not treat the people of Wuhan and Hubei as if they are virus spreaders regardless of where they just came from and whether they have passed the incubation period. Mutual distrust is a big taboo for disease control.

In order to encourage high-risk groups to proactively report their situation and quarantine themselves, it is necessary to carry out supporting measures based on big data.

We must find those people who left Wuhan in time and prevent their close contact with local residents in other parts of the country. In addition, the country must continue reducing social activities and carrying out comprehensive investigations and quarantine newly infected patients.

Beijing's experience with the SARS outbreak in 2003 tells us that no matter how complicated the situation is, the epidemic can be controlled as long as society is fully mobilized. What we should do now is not panic, but act resolutely and mobilize the sense of responsibility of everyone in society and truly achieve unity in the face of this epidemic.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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