Work together to Defeat the COVID-19 Outbreak in the Spirit of Bayanihan
2020/04/15

A twelve-member Medical Expert Team dispatched by the Chinese Government is currently here in the Metro Manila to help the Philippines to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. In the past several days, the expert team has been racing against time to render all necessary assistance. In collaboration with the Department of Health, the Chinese medical experts have visited more than ten front-line medical agencies, such as Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Lung Center of the Philippines and Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, and met extensively with public health officials and professionals. They have also shared experience and practice on COVID-19 prevention and control, diagnosis and treatment, as well as personal protection with Filipino counterparts and people from all walks of life online. Their relentless efforts have been warmly welcomed and received.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, the Chinese people under President Xi Jinping's leadership, have worked as one and made arduous efforts and tremendous sacrifice to fight against the virus. Today fundamental progress has been made in China's pandemic prevention and control measures, with local transmission successfully stemmed. Meanwhile, plenty of first-hand feasible information and knowledge have been collected during the fighting.

As China's great ancient poet Li Bai wrote, "true friendship is revealed through adversity, and success becomes nothing when it is not shared". As a true friend, China feels keenly for the Philippine government and people amid the difficult times of combating the epidemic. That's why the medical expert team has been soon dispatched to share all that we know about the pandemic with the Philippine side, with the purpose of improving its ability of pandemic prevention and control as well as diagnosis and treatment, so as to boost the confidence of the public in overcoming the COVID-19. It is our sincere hope that the dawn of victory will come at an earlier date.

 As a Philippine saying goes, "A broom is sturdy because its strands are tightly bound"(Matibay ang walis, palibhasa'y magkabigki), people gain strength by standing together in the spirit of Bayanihan. Facing the COVID-19 outbreak, China and the Philippines have been supporting and helping each other, demonstrating our long-standing profound friendship as close neighbors, trusted friends and good brothers. We recall that at the most difficult moment in our fight, the Philippine government donated a batch of well-needed relief goods to China, and massive support were also shown by the Philippine people from all walks of life. China also stands in solidarity with the Philippines in light of the pandemic situation. At the early stage of the outbreak here, the Chinese Embassy in cooperation with the China Mammoth Foundation, donated 2,000 test kits to the Philippine Government. The Chinese government then donated much needed medical supplies to the Philippines, including 100,000 test kits, 310,000 surgical masks, 40,000 medical N95 masks, 15,000 medical protective suits, 5,000 medical face shields, and 30 non-invasive ventilators. Moreover, Fujian, Hainan, Shangdong, Guangzhou, Nanning and many other sister provinces and cities to the Philippines, as well as a number of enterprises and civil groups such as Jack Ma Foundation, Hong Kong Prudential Enterprise, Huawei, Bank of China donated medical supplies to different local units of the Philippines as well. We will continue to provide our best support and assistance in as the Philippine side's needs arise.

Benevolence and kindness are best known during trying times. As the COVID-19 wreaked havoc in many countries around the globe, China never stood by and left its friends in difficulty. Despite the unhealed wound inflicted by the epidemic and a rebound in indigenous cases, we have reached out to other countries affected at the latter's request. So far, the Chinese government has provided or is providing supplies to 127 countries and four international organizations, including surgical masks, protective gears and testing reagents. China has also donated $20 million to the WHO, sent 13 medical teams to 11 countries and held over 70 video conferences with experts from more than 150 countries and international organizations. Chinese factories are operating in full swing to fulfill the orders of medical supplies from home and abroad. We are happy to see that a robust frontline to halt the spread of COVID-19 is being gradually built with the joint efforts made by China and other countries.

Virus respects no borders nor distinguishes between races. People and countries around the world must work together if we want to prevail over the pandemic. China has been open, transparent and responsible since the COVID-19 broke out. We notified the WHO and other countries of the epidemic, shared the genome sequencing of the virus, carried out international cooperation and assisted other countries affected with medical supplies and experience, all at the earliest time possible. China's readiness and measures have been widely recognized and highly praised by the international community. By contrast, as the global battle against the virus is at a critical stage, a handful of Western politicians are maliciously spreading groundless lies such as "China is the origin of the virus", or so-called "China's cover-up and in-transparency". We are strongly opposed to the stigmatization which is purely driven by ultimate political motives. It is irresponsible and unreasonable for anyone to scapegoat or shift the blame on others. Stigmatizing China will detrimentally create splits and undermine international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, and has been strongly condemned and opposed by the international community.

COVID-19 is humanity's worst crisis since World War II. The ongoing battle is living proof of how much we all belong to a intertwined community with a shared future. As President Xi Jinping mentioned in his remarks at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit on COVID-19, "At such a moment, it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response. We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease." It is worth highlighting that the Special ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on COVID-19 will convene soon. It's my belief that the Summit would be another essential opportunity for the region to gather consensus, strengthen a collective response for control and treatment at the regional level, as well as deepen cooperation in the field of public health security.  

There is no eternal night nor eternal winter on earth. As long as we stand in solidarity to strengthen regional and international cooperation, we shall say goodbye to the night and winter shrouded in the pandemic. I look forward to once again joining my Filipino friends to see the breath-taking sunset at Manila Bay, to taste Halo-halo along the vibrant streets and visit Rizal Park to see the big smiles of the lovely children without face masks. I believe this day will come soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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