Coronavirus can be 'prevented, controlled and cured', says China's ambassador to SA

2020-03-06 18:53

China has stymied the spread of the deadly coronavirus, but its ambassador to South Africa is concerned about the outbreak in other countries. 

Lin Songtian was speaking during a media briefing at the Embassy of China in Pretoria on Friday morning, where he gave an update on developments in China’s efforts to fighting the virus. He said the number of cases have dropped dramatically in the past month, and that China has not seen a new coronavirus case since Wednesday. 

The ambassador said effective prevention and control efforts had been implemented across China, especially in the city of Wuhan, where the virus first broke out in December 2019. This led to it being brought under control.

READ | None of the South Africans to be repatriated from China are infected with coronavirus - ambassador

South Africa confirmed its first case on Thursday. A Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, man is under quarantine after testing positive. He had returned on holiday from Italy this month. His family and private doctor are also in quarantine. 

The news has rocked Hilton, where members of the public are seen wearing protective masks. Several schools closed on Friday.

Lin said the number of new confirmed cases in China had declined, while the cure rate had risen significantly.

"China will soon win the battle against the epidemic. I am proud to say that, after over a month of unremitting efforts, the spread of Covid-19 in mainland China has been effectively brought under control. The situation in the whole country and the Hubei province has shown a positive development."

"Can be prevented, controlled and cured"

Lin said, as of Thursday, the number of new confirmed cases nationwide in China dropped from 3887 to 143 from 4 February.

He added that, from 4 March, there had been no new confirmed cases in 26 provinces and municipalities in China. Only four provinces and municipalities, except for Hubei, had five new confirmed cases.

He added that most of the deaths from the virus were in the country’s most affected location, Wuhan in the Hubei province.

The improvement in the country, therefore, showed the coronavirus can be prevented, controlled and cured, the ambassador said.

According to Lin, all of this would not have been possible had it not been for the prevention, treatment and approach programmes China had used, including building two hospitals within days, to fight the epidemic.

The prevention methods included restricting movements in Wuhan and ensuring that people were quarantined.

"This novel virus can be prevented, controlled and cured. China’s method [towards fighting the epidemic] is the only one that has been proved a success so far," Lin said.

Education and Technology

He added the communist party of China also worked hard to mobilise for support, using various resources and stakeholders, including the military. National joint operations were also put in place since the day of the outbreak and continued to today. 

"New suspected cases are detected, isolated and treated as early as possible." 

Lin advised that this should also be the approach used by other countries.  

READ | Coronavirus quarantine: Hunt for new facility as talks with Free State resort collapse

Advanced technology also played an important role in fighting the scourge and numerous international scientists lent a helping hand in research.

"Viruses know no borders. This is indeed a global battle between man and nature. In the era of globalisation, all countries’ interests are intertwined.

"No country can fight the epidemic alone and no country in the world is immune from the virus," Lin said.

For more on the Coronavirus and other stories listen to our podcast here on SoundCloud.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  coronavirus  |  health
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