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May 30, 2020

Things to learn from China’s fight against virus


May 30, 2020

Islamabad:Speakers of an international virtual seminar on 'Combatting COVID-19: Learning from China' said the government was confused in taking appropriate decisions at the right moment of time. They also urged the people to follow the pre-emptive measures, stay at homes and keep them virus-free by physical distancing and washing their hands.

This was the first and only solution adopted by the Chinese to defeat the COVID-19 infections. Secondly, the Chinese government practiced its writ in letter and spirit in hundred per cent harmony with the stakeholders. The flawless and strict command and control could bring the desired results.

The participants opined: Contrary to China, Pakistan government has been confused on pre-emptive measures and lockdown strategies besides locking horns with the provincial governments. Public also reacted to the lockdown in the face of economic breakdown despite huge food and financial charity.

Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and DTN jointly organized the virtual seminar on Friday. Devcom-Pakistan and DTN director Munir Ahmed hosted the discussion.

The panel of experts included Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and chairman Pakistan-China Institute, Chinese professor from Xi'an (China) Dr Shan Wang, geopolitical analyst from Beijing (China) Malik Ayub Khan, Dr Zahoor Bazai, Nima Gurang from Pokhra (Nepal) and Dr Amena Hassan.

Senator Mushahid Hussain said the failed to provide desired leadership and timely decisions to handle the situation. Contrarily, the government locked horn with the provincial governments on variety of strategies. Federal government was not in favour of complete lockdown from the day one that hampered the situation. Lack of clarity and shortfall in the healthcare system were the other drawbacks.

The best lesson from the China's fight against Covid-19 is the leadership and timely decision making. The people of China followed the government instructions in letter and spirit.

He also condemned the western propaganda against China for spreading the virus. Delaying the lockdown and going for the herd immunity was the blunder of the leadership in the US, UK and other western countries for which they are facing the brunt now.

Devcom-Pakistan and DTN director Munir Ahmed said we all believed in faith on Allah without taking preemptive measures for which we facing the consequences now. The total cases have risen to more than 65,000 in a couple of weeks from 12,000 patients. Hospitals have told the government and the public that they have no more beds for the infected ones. Situation would turn more miserable in next couple of weeks.

Dr Shan Wang said their people followed the government instructions very carefully and remained at their homes. The Chinese government had taken strict measures for those violating the SOPs. Frankly speaking, Dr Wang said, Chinese people are a little more disciplined while the fear of the infection made them more disciplined to follow the instructions.

She said some herbal medicines were also used for the mildly infected patients while the government established first big hospital in Wuhan city just in ten days while the second one in twelve days. Timely decisions, strict lockdown and a strong healthcare system were the major elements to recover from the corona pandemic.

Geopolitical analyst Malik Ayub Khan while speaking from Beijing said: China's fight against Covid-19 is exemplary for the rest of the world, especially the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and use of the various apps like 'Health Kit' in WeChat to screen the people according to their travel history.

Khan said "The makeshift hospitals in the Wuhan after the outbreak of the pandemic were game-changer in the fight against Coronavirus. These hospitals have made history and received international attention and set an example for the rest of the world. Italy even adopted this model and made such kind of hospitals during the pandemic. The implementation of lockdown by the Chinese government, and the way Chinese people followed the instructions were amazing. I have not seen such kind of compliance of government instructions before anywhere else.

He said: China is a country where online shopping and groceries are very common so the Chinese authorities ensured the supply of the goods, another milestone towards fighting Covid-19. Beside all the steps and measures taken by the government and the people, dedication and commitment to take over the menace with courage was the essence of the Chinese struggle against the pandemic of Covid-19. The world had seen the images while people singing national anthems and raising slogans "Wuhan Jia You", this was an expression of encouragement and support.

Dr Amena Hassan said described different steps and SOPs required combating the corona crisis. She said we had to follow the awareness campaign first. Mostly people have taken it lightly but now suffering from their own ignorance and neglect. We are habitual to flout the SOPs of the government whatever the situation is. Perhaps we don't trust out government or it's the usual ignorance.

Nima Gurung said the government in Nepal is following a strict lockdown that is why the cases are very low but the economic crisis is looming at large. Dr Zahoor Bazai said government could not ensure proper and large scale testing of the suspects. On the other hand, the healthcare is insufficient. Most parts of the Balochistan have no IT infrastructure so communication is weaker as compare to other provinces.