To date, over 2 million people worldwide are infected with COVID-19, bringing a formidable challenge to the global public health security and posing enormous threat to lives and health. Since March, COVID-19 has already spread across Pakistan, particularly Punjab, where confirmed cases account for half of the total cases in the country. Being the Chinese Consul General in Lahore, I am pleased to see the remarkable results achieved by China in combating the epidemic, and meanwhile I’ve been paying close attention to the epidemic situation in Pakistan, especially in Punjab. I have a staunch belief that we are bound to win the battle against the epidemic through the concerted efforts by the governments and people of China and Pakistan.
Ever since the outbreak, Chinese government has been adhering to the principle of “early detection, early reporting, early isolation, early diagnosis and treatment”, treating the infected in dedicated facilities by senior medical professionals from all over the country and with all necessary resources. Moreover, Chinese government has taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures of epidemic prevention and control, for instance, over 330 medical teams and more than 42,000 medical staff were dispatched to Hubei Province including Wuhan. Two hospitals for contagious diseases offering 2,500 beds were built in 15 days to take care of patients with severe symptoms. In the meantime, stadiums and convention centers were renovated into 16 mobile cabin hospitals offering more than 20,000 beds to take care of patients with mild symptoms. China has made initial achievements in epidemic prevention and control through its people’s endeavors nationwide. Economy and society are getting back to normal.
As a responsible great power, China is taking the initiative to make greater contributions to world peace and health while striving to solve its own issues. We do share information with WHO and other countries in an open, transparent and responsible manner, suspend all the overseas group tours, and impose strict lockdowns on epicenters including Wuhan to contain the coronavirus. Chinese citizens and enterprises in Pakistan strictly comply with the requirement of the Chinese embassy and consulates in Pakistan, i.e. enforce mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from their arrival to Pakistan in order to minimize the risk of epidemic spread to Pakistan. Although China has close relations with Pakistan and people of the two countries have kept frequent contact, but so far there has not been a single confirmed case in Pakistan imported from China, which exactly proves Chinese government has been putting relentless efforts into containing the epidemic. Situation report published on 5 April by WHO also shows that China amassed significant experience in COVID-19. China has been very effective in implementing a differentiated, location-specific response to limiting transmission, so that public health measures are tailored to the differing realities on the ground. With strong action, it is possible to push the virus back.
China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership has become a model for countries of different sizes or systems getting along with one another. Despite changes of international situations, the two countries share weal and woe through thick and thin all the time, offering selfless help to each other whenever in need. Joining hands in fighting COVID-19 once again embodies profound bilateral friendship as the two countries always help and support each other.
Chinese government and people will never forget it is Pakistani government who has mobilized medical supplies nationwide to help China out at the critical time in fighting COVID-19. The letters addressed by President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan to President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang respectively as well as the resolution passed by the Senate of Pakistan expressed support for China’s fight against COVID-19, speaking highly of China’s unremitting efforts against the outbreak. Likewise, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar and Provincial Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid wrote letters to me and expressed unflinching support for China’s fight against COVID-19.
A drop of water in need shall be returned with a spring in deed. Ever since the outbreak in Pakistan, Chinese government has attached great importance to the epidemic situation of Pakistan and is going all out to support Pakistan in combating COVID-19.
China urgently managed to collect several batches of test kits and medical supplies to support Pakistan, and sent a medical expert team to Pakistan to introduce experience in epidemic prevention and control as well as treatment. Sister provinces and cities, and local governments have also been extending helping hands to Pakistan, specifically donating a great many medical supplies to Pakistan including Punjab via the Pakistan Embassy and Consulates in China, among which the medical supplies donated by sister provinces of Punjab are to be delivered to Pakistan soon. What’s more, Chinese enterprises and overseas Chinese in Pakistan voluntarily made donations. According to incomplete statistics, Chinese enterprises in Punjab alone have donated cash, medical supplies and grains, tallying up to over Rs60 million. Besides, China is ready to provide Pakistan with more much-needed medical supplies and equipment, and will help Pakistan to set up temporary isolation hospitals so as to help Pakistan defeat COVID-19 as soon as possible.
In the era of globalization, the interests of human society are highly integrated. We are intertwined and interdependent, with responsibilities shared together. As President Xi Jinping pointed out, viruses recognize no national boundaries, and epidemics do not discriminate between races. COVID-19 once again proves that human beings live in a community of shared future, who are supposed to work together to go through current difficulties. China will continue to firmly adhere to the concept of building a community of shared future for humankind. And meanwhile China will also continue to stand firm together with Pakistan in taking more positive measures and join hands in fighting against COVID-19. I am fully confident that by working closely together, the all-weather strategic partnership between China and Pakistan will be further deepened and the foundation of China-Pakistan community of share future will be more solid.