At 3:30 a.m. Beijing time on January 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced after the meeting of the Emergency Committee in Geneva that the global outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic was classified as an “public health emergency of international concern”. (PHEIC). This is the sixth time WHO has made such a declaration since the new edition of the International Health Regulations came into effect in 2005. WHO Director-General Tan Desai said that this announcement is mainly based on the fact that the number of infected people in China has increased and there have been outbreaks in many countries. It aims to mobilize international resources and provide the necessary for countries with weak health systems and insufficient public health capabilities. International assistance. He said that it is not necessary to take measures against China to restrict the movement of international people and does not recommend measures to limit travel. In response to the WHO’s decision, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hua Chunying said on the same day that the Chinese government has adopted the most comprehensive and strictest prevention and control measures since the outbreak, and many of them have far exceeded the requirements of the International Health Regulations. Tan Desai also emphasized at the press conference, “This is not a vote of no confidence in China’s performance. On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China’s ability to control the epidemic … China is establishing new Standards, “he said.” The only way we can defeat this outbreak is if all nations work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. ”
“We must remember that these are people, not numbers”
“In the past few weeks, we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented epidemic, and people have responded like never before.” At about 20:30 local time on January 30, local time , World Health Organization Director-General Tan Desai announced that China’s new coronavirus epidemic constitutes an “public health emergency of international concern”. Starting at 1:30 pm that day, WHO convened an emergency committee and consultants to hold a global conference call for more than 5 hours to discuss the new coronavirus epidemic.
Tan Desai said that the main reason for this announcement is not what is happening in China, but what is happening in other countries. He said that 98 confirmed cases of E.coli virus have appeared in 18 countries outside China, including 8 cases of “human-to-human transmission” in 4 countries including Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the United States. Tan Desai said that although the current number of cases outside China is still relatively small compared to the number of cases in China, “we don’t know what harm the virus would cause if it spreads to countries with weak health systems. We now Action must be taken to help countries prepare for this possibility. ”
At the press conference, Tan Desai repeated the following sentence in particular: “The announcement is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, the WHO continues to hold China’s ability to control the epidemic. Confident “,” In many ways, China is setting new standards for outbreak response. This is by no means an exaggeration. ”
“Currently confirmed cases in China account for nearly 99% of the total number of reported cases worldwide, and more than 170 people who were killed in the epidemic are all in China. We must remember that these are people, not numbers.” Tan Desai said, If it weren’t for the Chinese government’s efforts and its progress in protecting its own people and the world’s people, we would now see more cases outside China-and possibly death. So far, we have not seen any deaths outside China, and everyone should thank them (for China).
In response to the WHO decision, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said on January 31 that China has maintained close communication and good cooperation with WHO. In a transparent and responsible manner, China will promptly notify the relevant parties of the epidemic situation and share the viral gene sequence. Hua Chunying emphasized that since the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus, the Chinese government has always adopted the most comprehensive and strictest prevention and control measures in a highly responsible manner towards the people’s health. Many measures have far exceeded the requirements of the International Health Regulations. China is fully confident and capable of winning the fight against this epidemic.
The National Health Committee also responded on the same day, saying that it hopes that the international community will understand and support China’s epidemic prevention and control work, and work with China to implement epidemic prevention and control in accordance with the International Health Regulations and the World Health Organization recommendations to maintain regional and global Public health and safety.
Think of this as “card China”, “neither correct nor sane”
According to the International Health Regulations passed in 2005, “public health emergencies of international concern” means “different public health risks to other countries through the international spread of disease and may require coordinated international responses Ordinary event. ” The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said that the birth of this mechanism stems from the SARS epidemic that broke out in China from 2002 to 2003, and WHO needs such a mechanism to deal with the spread of the epidemic globally.
According to Agence France-Presse, this is by far the fastest WHO announcement of an “public health emergency of international concern”. This is because when the Ebola virus raged in 2018, it took WHO a year to make the same decision, and many countries expressed dissatisfaction. In addition, many developing countries are not prepared to respond to this new coronavirus outbreak, which has prompted WHO to speed up its decision.
The British “Daily Telegraph” reported that some countries with weak health systems are particularly worried about the epidemic, and confirmed cases occurred in India and the Philippines on January 30. The report specifically mentioned concerns about India. According to the report, unlike China, which has a similarly large population, India’s central administrative control and resources are much worse.
Yang Gonghuan, former deputy director of the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an expert on public health and epidemiology, said in an interview with a reporter from the Global Times on January 31 that WHO’s decisions and measures are considered from the perspective of global epidemic prevention. “Normal considerations at the level of prevention and control” do not include political purposes, nor are they intended to restrict a place. Just as the outbreak provinces need to inform the country of the outbreak and the country then decides, China also has an obligation to report the outbreak to the WHO transparently and transparently. The WHO will also judge the degree of vigilance based on the development of the outbreak itself. So that countries can take measures to control the spread of the epidemic. According to Yang Gonghuan, there are some voices on the Internet that this is “card China (neck)”, and this idea is “neither correct nor rational”.
According to the International Health Regulations, when an “public health emergency of international concern” is announced, WHO generally requires other countries to avoid overreactions, in addition to making recommendations for outbreak prevention and control in outbreak countries. The Washington Post said that in the past five “public health emergencies of international concern,” WHO has advised other countries not to take measures such as suspending visas, import bans, and closing borders.
After the WHO declared the epidemic an “public health emergency of international concern”, the U.S. Department of State raised travel warnings against China to the highest level of “Fourth Level” on the evening of January 30, asking U.S. citizens not to travel China. In response, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying responded on January 31 that the words and deeds of the United States are neither in line with the facts nor more timely. The WHO has called on countries to avoid travel restrictions, but before the words came out, the United States did the opposite and brought a very bad head, which was too mean.
The BBC said that the WHO emphasized that “the evidence shows that restricting the movement of people and goods is not necessarily effective, and it will decentralize the resources of all parties involved in the outbreak and may interfere with necessary assistance”. Usan, chairman of the WHO Emergency Committee, questioned some countries, “Why is this decision made? What is the basis? Can this decision be reconsidered?”
WHO spokesman Jasarevich said in an interview with a Global Times reporter on January 30 that countries that implement measures outside the scope of WHO’s recommendations are obliged to provide WHO with public information within 48 hours of implementation. Health evidence and related scientific information for review by WHO.
According to the International Health Regulations, the WHO’s decision to declare an “public health emergency of international concern” will automatically expire three months after publication, or it may be renewed for another three months, or it may be revoked at any time in accordance with prescribed procedures. A statement from the WHO Emergency Committee on January 30 also stated that WHO would decide to convene an emergency committee meeting again after three months (or earlier), as appropriate.
“This is a moment that requires solidarity, not stigma.”
As of 21:00 on January 31, a total of 9811 confirmed cases and 213 deaths had been reported nationwide. Although the epidemic situation is serious, there are also many moving news. On the afternoon of January 31, 20 patients with new-type coronavirus infection from Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital were discharged from the hospital collectively. This is the largest number of simultaneous discharges since the outbreak. On the same day, the “Global Times” went to Wuhan to send special reporters to interview at Wuhan Tongji Hospital, and met a batch of supplies to help Wuhan arrive. Goods are written on the materials, such as “common to the city, fight against the virus, Wuhan, come on”.
On January 31, the Chinese government also dispatched two civil aviation charter planes to pick up passengers from Thailand and Malaysia who were stranded in Hubei. It is reported that the third charter plane has also flown to Japan and will take home the compatriots in Hubei who are stranded in the local area in the early morning of February 1.
According to AFP, in order to prevent the spread of the virus and to respond carefully to the outbreak, the WHO Emergency Committee made recommendations in seven areas. The first is, “There is no reason to take unnecessary measures to interfere with international travel and trade. WHO does not recommend restricting trade and movement of people.” According to the report, WHO Director-General Tan Desai said: “No one can stay aside and we must stop the epidemic together.” He said: “This is a moment that requires facts, not fear. This is a time that requires science, not Moment of rumour. This is a moment of unity, not stigma. ”
Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao said that although some countries temporarily reduced navigation (with China) or suspended personnel exchanges, which are emergency measures, in some places, the fear of the epidemic is rising as a “terrorism” for all Chinese. “Hua” mood. The article said that only when the scale of the epidemic began to be controlled, and with the emergence of the effects of the local economy, various “closed theories” could rest.