China sacrificed itself to win time for the world to respond to COVID19: WHO

By Wang Bozun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/2 18:23:40

A screenshot of World Health Organization (WHO) representative to China Dr Gauden Galea's livestreaming page. Photo: Wang Bozun/GT

China sacrificed itself in order to win time for the rest of the world to be able to respond to the spreading COVID-19 disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) representative to China Dr Gauden Galea said on Thursday, praising China's quick response to the outbreak and Chinese people's solidarity during this difficult time.

Galea made the comments during his first live streamed interaction with users of Kuaishou - a Chinese leading short video platform - on Thursday with the aim of keeping people updated about the coronavirus pandemic in the world. 

He added that the "hit to the [country's] economy and strong solidarity that you [Chinese people] have demonstrated to the rest of the world, stand as a major milestone or great achievements during this period."

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, some Western countries have been criticizing China, saying that it wasted time in the very beginning of the outbreak, with US President Donald Trump even labeling the novel coronavirus as the "Chinese virus."

However, Galea said that "We are all in this together, the virus knows no boundaries, no borders, the virus has no passports and we need unity and solidarity to overcome the multiple epidemics that there are."

"In China, we have seen a rapid rise [of cases] in late January, we have seen a decline in February, and we have seen the recent achievement of no local cases. This is a record of achievement that every Chinese should be proud of, because every Chinese has contributed to this," he said.

Citing data from the origination, Galea said that "there were seven clinical guidelines produced over the period of these few weeks, every few days, all the knowledge that had been accumulated in the clinics and hospitals would be brought into one new guideline."

"It would be published all over China and all the doctors and nurses of all the hospitals in China would get a chance to learn what was new," he said on the Kuaishou platform.

"China has successfully contained the outbreak, has raised the whole of its health system capacity to cope with a large number of cases, and it has found ways in many provinces of reducing the peak of their outbreaks so only a smaller number of people got infected, and they could get the best clinical treatment without stressing the health system. 

"And this has been done in the context of a joint prevention and control task force and mobilization of the whole of government, and the engagement of the whole of society," Galea said.

In the end of his livestreaming, he reminded us of the importance of hand washing, respirator application and social distancing. He specifically warned people to keep an eye on fake and inaccurate information, saying "always be ready to be informed by credible sources, such as this one [the WHO's official account on Kuaishou], or others that come from the National Health Commission and other official sources, in order to avoid misinformation, the info damage, that we have often seen on the media front."

Though it was Galea's first live steamed interaction with users on the platform, he is becoming popular in China as the WHO has launched several public events and posted short videos on Kuaishou since the outbreak began, including those teaching people how to lower their risk of infection in different circumstances.

Galea even participated in a short video on Kuaishou, showing people how to wash their hands correctly. Total viewership of all events and videos has surpassed 50 million.


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