The outbreak of pneumonitis caused by new coronaviruses continues. Our entire country has mobilized the whole society to make every effort to win this “people’s war” against the epidemic. Under the circumstances that the specific infectious mechanism and the prevention and treatment, the development and treatment of special-effect drugs have not been fully clear, on the one hand, some parts of the world and countries have concerns about the epidemic situation, which is understandable. On the other hand, it is particularly valuable that many countries have stated their full support for China’s response to the epidemic. For example, since the outbreak, neighboring Japan has expressed support from the government to the people, and has also provided timely assistance to a large number of medical supplies such as masks and protective clothing.
This new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic has “goed abroad”, causing spillovers from the SARS outbreak 17 years ago. The reason is that personnel exchanges between China and the rest of the world have shown a historic leap from 2003, and two-way in all areas. The frequency and scale of interactions were not comparable then.
First, in 2003, the number of Chinese outbound tourists was less than 20 million, and the number of overseas migrant workers was 249,000. By 2018, the number of Chinese outbound tourists has reached 149 million, and the number of short-term and long-term overseas migrant workers has exceeded 10 million. China today is already the largest travel group and consumer group in the international tourist market. China’s reform and opening up is a country that is rapidly integrating into the process of globalization, and a country that continues to grow and develop in international exchanges and competition. The huge number of people entering and leaving the country, coupled with the “New Year boom” of overseas travel after New Year’s Day and holidays in 2019, has enabled Chinese people to travel at home and abroad to a “peak hour” of the year.
As a result, by the middle of January this year, when the number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Wuhan accelerated, more than a month had passed since the earliest case on December 8, 2019. China’s convenient air and land transportation today, the convenience of nationals traveling abroad, and large-scale international interactions have caused an “internationalization” situation that is completely different from the SARS epidemic in the spring of 2003, which is unavoidable.
Second, the SARS epidemic raged back then and there was a time and regional development cycle. SARS first appeared in parts of Guangdong in November 2002. After spreading in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and even Taiwan, Beijing became the worst-hit area, and the outbreak concentrated in March 2003. Although SARS cases have been confirmed in 35 countries and regions around the world, according to the World Health Organization report at the time, the top three global confirmed cases and death cases were Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, accounting for 91% of the global SARS confirmed cases and death cases. .
The international spread of this epidemic is obviously more complicated than that of SARS. But today, China’s infectious disease research, prevention and control capabilities are not comparable in 2003. At the time, the WHO declared that the disease was due to the SARS virus based on the results of research conducted in collaboration with 13 laboratories in 11 countries and regions including Hong Kong, Canada, and the United States. But now, China’s own medical community has confirmed in time that the outbreak in Wuhan is a “new coronavirus”, which is different from the SARS or MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) confirmed by the international medical community.
The “internationalization” of the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic once again shows that viral infectious diseases have been the common enemy of mankind from ancient times to the present. It is also a major threat to the world economy and a peaceful lifestyle. It is also a major challenge that requires countries to strengthen cooperation and work together to address. The control and eventual overcoming of the new crown virus epidemic is not only a matter for China but also for the world; it is not only China’s responsibility, but also the common responsibility of the international community. Of course, the sympathy and support expressed by some countries and regions and international organizations does not mean that there are no other negative emotions and noises. For example, Japan has also complained about the so-called “masks have been bought up by the Chinese”; South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries have emotionally petitioned to block Chinese entry. This also reminds us that while strengthening the fight against the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, we must also pay close attention to its foreign influence.
By defeating this epidemic, China will make new contributions to the defense of humans against infectious viruses in the medical diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, as well as the construction of more stringent, timely, and in-place prevention systems and mechanisms. This is certainly a major test, but it is also a motivation. The current priority is undoubtedly to effectively respond to the epidemic. To this end, all sectors of Chinese society need to be highly united and cohesive. This process requires us to continuously upgrade our governance mechanisms and capabilities. At the same time, we need to plan and act for the stability and growth of the Chinese economy during the “post-epidemic period” as soon as possible.
The WHO has affirmed China’s openness and transparency and international cooperation in responding to the epidemic, and said that China agreed that WHO would send an international team of experts to China to support the epidemic prevention and control. The solidarity of China and the international community will make the fight against the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic more professional, professional, and humane, and then more timely and effectively curb the spread of the epidemic and its “internationalization.”