OPINION: Stay Calm And Confident -How To Face The Coronavirus


By Wang Yongjun
Everyone can help to fight the novel coronavirus pneumonia.
In Chinese culture, we denounce such actions of throwing rocks at a drowning person. It should be the basic human conscience to help or at least to express sympathies to those struggling in misfortune. However, there are certain kinds of people who take pleasure from watching others suffer and even adding more insult to the injury. There is also a term in psychology to describe this abhorrent mentality: schadenfreude.
Since the outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) in China, we are seeing waves of such schadenfreude reports or outright fake news festering on media platforms. They feed on conspiracy theories, smear heroic struggles of the Chinese and other peoples across the world and incite panic, racism and xenophobia for their personal gains. These people have no moral baseline and should be condemned in the strongest terms.
Fortunately, the majority of the international community is staying clear-eyed in front of these irrepressible reports and comments.
Our embassy has received sympathy, confidence and support from people of all walks of life in Israel. Among them, President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Israel Katz have commended China’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Many Israelis speak highly of China’s counter-virus efforts and offer not only support but also objective and reasonable advice. We’re deeply moved by what they have said and done for us. We will never forget.
As was emphasized by the World Health Organization, this is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumors. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma. The whole Chinese nation, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, is fighting the epidemic with all our efforts. Every day, we know more about the virus, and thus we are more capable and confident in containing and curbing its spread. It is an evidence-based judgment that the novel coronavirus pneumonia is absolutely controllable, preventable and curable. Here is some evidence I want to share with you.
Since February 4, the new cases reported outside of Hubei Province has been decreasing for eight consecutive days, with the increase rate dropping by over 60%.
The recovery rate in China now stands at 10%, which has increased more than six times in less than two weeks. By February 13, the number of persons cured and discharged has jumped to over 6,000 and is still increasing.
The case fatality rate in China stands at 2.3%. This is much lower than Ebola (40.4%), SARS (10%), MERS (34.4%) and 2009 H1N1 (17.4%). If we only count the cases outside Hubei Province, the case fatality rate is less than 0.5%.
All the data are pointing to the improvement of the situation, and professional suggestions calling for calm and confidence are everywhere. The US CDC also assessed that “the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time.” We hope the public can follow professional advice, avoid overreaction, avoid creating panic, and ensure the normal cooperation and exchanges between countries. Stay calm and be confident. Everyone can contribute to the fight against the epidemic.
The writer is spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Israel.
Culled from Jerusalem Post.


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