By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
China has taken extraordinary and unprecedented measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and limit its spread outside the country through the use of sophisticated equipment and scientific expertise, Chinese ambassador to Qatar Zhou Jian has said.
"After the pneumonia broke out, the Chinese embassy informed the Qatari government of the latest situation and the measures taken by the Chinese government, and maintained close communication and shared information with the Qatari counterparts. The Qatari government has also taken timely and effective measures to prevent the epidemic, which has provided a solid guarantee for the health and safety of the Qatari people," the envoy said while addressing a press conference in Doha on Saturday.
He stressed that China and Qatar are "good friends and brothers", saying that "facing the novel coronavirus, our Qatari friends stepped forward and expressed their confidence in China to defeat the epidemic, and offered all necessary assistance".
"The actions of our Qatari brothers made us feel touched, and further strengthened our confidence and strength to win this battle. We highly appreciate the support from Qatar, and believe this will surely write another glorious story in the history of China-Qatar relations," he noted.
The ambassador continued, "Since the outbreak, Chinese citizens and companies in Qatar have paid close attention to the situation back home, and are concerned about the health and life of people in China. They offered their own support to the motherland. Many Chinese companies here and Chinese citizens have voluntarily donated medical supplies to China, such as masks."
Ambassador Zhou said that until January 31, China's National Health Commission had registered a total of 11,791 confirmed cases from 31 provinces, 1,795 serious cases, 259 deaths and 243 cases of cured patients. There were 17,988 suspected cases in all.
To effectively deal with the situation, 6,000 medical staff in 29 provinces and cities flew on an emergency flight to Wuhan overnight.
He said, "We have demonstrated to the world China's speed and efficiency. The Huoshenshan Hospital, an emergency specialised hospital, will be completed within just six days. The hospital covers an area of 25,000sqm and can accommodate 1,000 beds. Hundreds of equipment were sent to the construction site. Some 1,500 workers and 280 sets of machinery are racing against time and disease. If you hand over the work one minute in advance, you can stop the spread of the epidemic one minute in advance, time is life! Also, within eight days, another similar hospital, the Lenshenshan Temporary Hospital, will finish construction with an additional 1,600 beds for patients of the novel coronavirus pneumonia."
The two hospitals will begin operations by February 3 and 6, respectively. "In addition, the Chinese government has decided to send chartered flights to take stranded citizens overseas back home, especially those from Hubei, Wuhan. These fully reflect the Chinese government's responsibility in solving problems for the people," he added.
Regarding the international co-operation in this regard he said: "We invited World Health Organisation (WHO) experts to go to Wuhan for a field visit, and invited the WHO director-general to visit China. President Xi Jinping and State Councillor Wang Yi met with him separately and briefed him on our effective measures for epidemic prevention and control."
On the potential impact of international trade of the current situation, he stressed that there could only be a temporary impact that could be addressed easily.
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