Joint Efforts of Humans to Fight Pandemic

Prof. Yu Xinli
March 22, 2020


The human history will long remember the dark moment of the beginning of the year 2020 when the COVID-19 virus outburst was first spotted in Wuhan, China. It is the war between humans and non-humans and requires joint efforts of all humans to fight. 

Soon after the WHO declared the COVID-19, a pandemic, which has infected over 269,722 people in more than 184 countries and regions worldwide as of March 21, China announced its COVID-19 peak had been over after more than two months hard work. If we were to sum what China has done to achieve this, it would be pertinent to look at Ma Xiaowei’s (minister of the NHC) eight approaches, adopted by China, that have proved effective in containing the outbreak in the country: 

1. Commanding System: 

    • Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, serves as the head of the central leading group on epidemic response.
    •  The joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council reinforces overall planning and coordination.
    •  Overall strengthening of prevention and control of the epidemic with all-government and all-society approach.

2. Law-based, Science-driven, Targeted Prevention, and Control Strategies. 

3. Early Measure and Mobilizing the General Public

    1. Early Detection.
    2. Early Reporting.
    3. Early Isolation.
    4. Early Treatment

4. Coordinated Medical Resource Deployment

5. Rapid Improvement in Treatment Capacity

    1. Over 340 medical teams, 40,000 medical staff across the country, came to support Hubei.
    2. Gathering patients, experts, and resources for better treatment outcomes.

6. High-tech Measures

    1. Big data was applied to indicate population mobility
    2. Eight days to identify the pathogen and share the full genetic sequence of the virus strain with WHO and relevant countries
    3. Sixteen days to complete the test kit optimization
    4. Extensive use of Chinese Traditional Medicine

7. For the People and of the People.

    1. Temperature checks in communities
    2. Health education in communities
    3. Hygiene and disinfection in public spaces
    4. 1.4 billion people working together

8. International Exchange and Cooperation

The first seven approaches are domestic, which have proved very effective in China, and the diagnosis figures have come down from a high of 14109 cases in February to substantially low this week. However, the victory over the pandemic in one country is not the victory of humankind. As the situation in China improves, the situation in some other countries like Italy, France, Spain is getting severe. Moreover, more significantly, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world economy strongly, leading to a meltdown in the stock market as well as the gold market. Since every country has its own national conditions, different systems, and regime, the Chinese experience may not entirely suit the other countries, but it can be used as a model in fighting this epidemic. The world is facing the same enemy and needs more international exchange and cooperation at this moment. As the only remaining two great ancient civilizations in the world, China and India may set an example for the world to cooperate in the field of traditional medicine. There are many things in common in these two high civilized culture. 

To fight against this virus, physical isolation and social distancing are necessary and vital, but we should not stand in spiritual isolation. Human beings should be united together to fight against this deadly virus. The earth has become like a village in current times, and this is both an opportunity during current times when the virus is sweeping country after country. As such, a community feeling of shared values of protection of humankind has to be inculcated. Moreover, a community of shared future in fighting against COVID-19 should start from neighbors like China and India.

 US President Donald Trump, on March 17, branded the COVID-19 as “Chinese Virus” in a tweet, saying it has affected US industries. The Tweet read as follows:

“The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!” 

This language fosters hostility and unfriendliness. The President should refrain from using this language. 

The coronavirus failure should be a wake-up call that Trump has not made America great again. Quite the opposite: He has accelerated the decline. China, on the other hand, has emerged on the top. As a Washington Post article puts it: “As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and countries struggle to respond, China has position itself as a leader and benefactor in public health, building the kind of soft power. Beijing needs at a time of intensifying US-China rivalry….”.

Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra said in his article: “The United States has developed a global health policy. This policy is certainly not the outcome of any humanitarian considerations. At the same time, it has beneficial effects on many nations. Corona virus threat is a global phenomenon, and thus the Trump Administration should declare a global emergency and not just a national emergency, and the US should provide leadership in tackling this pandemic. The established superpower and the aspiring superpower are still engaged in name-calling and finger-pointing. Corona viruses must be smiling and benefitting from the divisions among the humans and thanking their stars! At least, they are united.”

The safety of humans is more important than prejudice. Let us hand-in-hand to fight against COVID-19.

*** The author is the director at China-India People to People Exchange Center, Yunnan Minzu University, China ***