China willing to help India combat coronavirus; information sharing, vaccine development cooperation possible

By GT Staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/25 12:00:11

Municipal workers spray disinfectant in Agartala, the capital city of India's northeastern state of Tripura, on March 23, 2020. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India Tuesday rose to 492, India's health ministry said. (Str/Xinhua)

China and its medical experts have praised India's decisive measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus and the country's donations to other nations in need. China is willing to offer help and share its experience combating the virus.

"The Indian government has attached great importance to the prevention and containment of the coronavirus from the beginning. I think the measures the government has taken were very timely and appropriate, including shutting down international flights and putting regions that have confirmed cases into quarantine," a Chinese worker in India surnamed Yuan told the Global Times on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the country's 1.3 billion people to stay inside and put the majority of the country under lockdown. By 6 pm yesterday (Indian time), the country had reported 86 new confirmed cases, its total reaching 519.

However, some have suggested the slow rise in confirmed cases is the result of a shortage of testing kits. The Times of India reported on Monday that the country is testing about 5,000 samples a week, whereas the US is testing 26,000 a week and UK 16,000 a week.

Although a shortage of testing kits may reduce the effectiveness of the containment measures, the nationwide lockdown may greatly contribute to preventing the spread of the virus and the situation in India may not be as serious as it is in the US, Yuan said.

"The urgent task for India is to cut the spread of the coronavirus. Given that India's population is huge and the virus spreads fast, a nationwide outbreak will add much pressure to the nation's health care system, where medical conditions are undesirable," Qian Feng, a senior fellow of Taihe Institute and director of the research department of the National Strategy Institute under Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"Compared to the medical resources of other developed countries, we are far behind. We need more isolation centers and hospitals and better medical equipment," Kapil Kinariwala, head of 3KSL Transport, a logistics company based in Indore, India, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"But at same time, looking at the population and other issues, India is doing great in preventing this virus from spreading. Prime Minister Modi is educating people via news channels," Kinariwala said.

Qian praised India's move to ship medical supplies to China when it was in need and said, "China is very willing to help India and share its experience."

Dai Yonghong, director of the Institute of Bay of Bengal Studies under Shenzhen University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that China and India should strengthen cooperation in the fight against the virus.

"Further, China and India can cooperate in terms of information sharing and vaccine development," Dai said.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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