China has fortified a nationwide defense against novel coronavirus, as the battle was fought when the Chinese people should have been immersed in the festivity of family union and happy gathering.
Numbers on cases of infection and death tolls are updated daily. Wuhan, a megacity at the epicenter of the epidemic in central China's Hubei province, has suffered the most. As the virus continues to spread throughout the country at an alarming rate, the whole nation is racing against time to counter the effects of the virus on people's lives.
Life is of paramount importance. This has been seen clearly in the work by the Communist Party of China during its seven decades of governance in the new China. Putting people's lives first has always been a priority when working to make Chinese people's lives safer, richer and healthier.
Therefore, the fight against new virus is a battle China must win.
Wuhan, alongside other cities in Hubei, has introduced the most stringent control measures in history. The city has physically sealed itself off from the outside and has banned the use of automobiles to cut off the spread of the virus. People are working around the clock to build two makeshift hospitals in suburban Wuhan, following the model of the Xiaotangshan hospital in Beijing that was built when the country fought the SARS epidemic in 2003.
Medical resources nationwide, civilian and military, are pouring into Wuhan. Doctors, nurses and experts from across the nation have been selected to join the battle, and manufacturers have restarted their plants to produce medical consumables that have been running short in many places. A national research team of experts, headed by renowned respiratory scientist Zhong Nanshan, has been set up to help prevent and control the outbreak
Local governments across the country have adopted restricted measures to curb the spread of the virus as much as possible, and the public has been cooperative. People are staying at home to avoid and many have canceled trips for family get-togethers. This is going to be an unforgettable Spring Festival for the Chinese, as families are separated but united to stand together in the face of the disease.
In any battle, the confidence to win is the cornerstone of victory. It is not an exception in the battle against coronavirus. And the confidence is well-founded.
Wuhan, a city about five times the size of London, boasts state-of-the-art scientific research capacities. It hosts a bio-safety level four (BSL-4) laboratory, or the Wuhan P4 lab. It researches the most dangerous pathogens and follows the maximum safety levels. There are only a handful of such labs in Asia. It puts Wuhan in a good position to handle the disease outbreak in the city.
Though there is a shortage of medical resources in Wuhan, confidence still remains in this megacity that hosts a number of nationally renowned mega-hospitals. It has highly-skilled medical professionals and advanced medical infrastructures. Resource shortages are only temporary, and order will be restored soon.
Rays of hope have emerged. As of Saturday, 49 people infected by the virus had recovered and been released from hospitals.
Chinese scientists are also racing against time to develop vaccines for the novel coronavirus. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has isolated the virus and is currently identifying a seed strain. Researchers are also screening drugs targeting pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.
Viruses have no borders, so neither should the fight against them. China has continued to have close communication with the World Health Organization (WHO), releasing information to the WHO as well as relevant countries in a timely manner.
When the United States tabled a proposal to evacuate personnel from its Wuhan consulate, China makes arrangements accordingly and provided assistance and facilitation to the U.S. side in line with international practice and China's relevant provisions on epidemic prevention.
Seventeen years after China fought the SARS epidemic, it has developed better disease combating mechanisms in terms of emergency response and transparency. The public has also become more composed and sober in facing the epidemic. China is not what it was 17 years ago.
The virus will be beaten, just as Spring will come.