GENEVA - A high-ranking Chinese official says he is confident strong measures taken by his government to tackle the coronavirus outbreak are working and will succeed in preventing the deadly virus from spreading. Chinese authorities say the number of confirmed cases has risen to nearly 10,000, including 213 deaths.
China’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Chen Xu, says he does not believe Thursday’s decision by the World Health Organization to declare the coronavirus a global health threat reflects badly on his country.
On the contrary, Chen says the WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in announcing the decision, voiced full confidence in China’s ability to control the outbreak.
“The main battlefield is in China, especially in (the city of) Wuhan. And, we did witness the spread in some of the other parts of the world. But you will find that only occupies one percent of the total affected, one percent. That means the measures taken by China are very much effective.”
The WHO says 98 cases of the coronavirus have been identified in 18 countries outside China and no deaths. The agency has said the main reason for the declaration was fear of the coronavirus spreading to countries with weak health systems that were ill-prepared to deal with the disease.
Ambassador Chen said his government was ready to support countries in Africa and elsewhere that might need help in combating the virus.
“So, there is no need for unnecessary panic and no need for excessive measures. So, dear friends now the situation is still very serious. We have to acknowledge the seriousness of the matter, bear in mind the spread, both in scope and speed.”
Chen says that is why the WHO has declared a public health emergency of international concern. Chen says he believes the epidemic will be defeated as a result of decisive and effective measures taken by his government, together with coordinated international action to stop the virus from spreading.