Time to provide treatment assistance to Italy

By Shi Tian Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/22 20:48:40

China dispatches a team of nine medical experts to Italy, on Thursday, to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, along with 31 tons of medical supplies, including ICU ward equipment, protectiveoutfits, and antiviral drugs. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

It is time for China to provide more specific and deeper assistance to Italy.

The coronavirus is rampant in Italy. As of Saturday, the total number of confirmed cases in this country reached over 53,000. In 24 hours, Italy reported 793 new deaths, bringing the total to nearly 5,000, already far surpassing China. It is heartbreaking to see what is happening in Italy. A huge number of coronavirus victims are overwhelming hospitals. Local newspapers are filled up with obituaries. Even morgues and crematoriums are having difficulties coping with the rising death toll. The country is facing the biggest challenge since World War II, said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday.

At this critical stage, timely help offered by the international community would be like fuel delivered in the snow and of great significance to the country's government and people. 

China is the first country that has brought the epidemic under control. Aware of Italy's plight, China is duty-bound to provide experience and support. Lending a hand to Italy is not only a moral principle that a responsible world power should practice, but also a window of opportunity for China to help fight the global pandemic and so relieve China's own pressure of increasing imported cases. 

China - from the state government to many local authorities and civil organizations - has donated tons of medical supplies to Italy. On March 12, a planeload of medical materials and a group of nine medical specialists arrived in Rome. On March 18, another team of 13 experts and nine tons of equipment were sent to Italy. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday that China was about to dispatch a third batch. 

But with the drastic deterioration of Italy's situation, such support may no longer keep pace with the growing demand of the country.

As Italy is witnessing a relatively high mortality rate related to the coronavirus and a serious shortage of medical staff, treatment experience and medical personnel could be the most needed. In addition to dispatching an expert group to Italy, China can also arrange large, high-level video conferences with Italian experts through online channels. Remote medical consultations have played a role in cooperation at local level within China. In international cooperation, such methods should also be widely promoted.

The Italian epidemic should also get more press coverage in China. Local Italian situation has already drawn wide sympathy from Chinese internet users through news reporting and videos. Exposed to more detailed information, the Chinese people will better understand how severe the situation is in Italy and how hard the Italian people are fighting the virus. Chinese people's support and care may comfort the Italian people struggling in the anti-virus battle.

China bears firmly in mind the timely help from many members of the international community. After two months of all-out efforts, China is finally within sight of a great triumph over the deadly virus. Now, with some strength to spare, China is ready to provide worst-hit countries and regions with necessary support. With Italy as an example, China will pay back the goodwill of the rest of the world and play a positive role in the global fight against the virus.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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