By Fortune Abang
Abuja – The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Zhou Pingjian, says China will continue to work closely with international community to contain outbreak of coronavirus.
Pingjian gave the assurance on Thursday at a dialogue on Nigeria-China cooperation on the theme: “Imperative of joint efforts and collaboration’’ was organised by the Centre for China Studies (CCS) in Abuja.
He said that prevention and control of the new coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 outbreak, remained priority of Chinese government, which leverage its institutional strength and started all-out war against the epidemic.
According to him, it is understandable that some countries have taken necessary and appropriate prevention measures, but China will not relent in its effort to contain the disease.
Pingjian said, “Guided by the vision of a community with shared future for mankind, China is fulfilling its responsibility for the life and health of its own people and for global public health.
“China’s effective response has averted further spread of the virus; China will work more closely with international community to contain the epidemic in the spirit of transparency and safeguard global public health security.
“We encourage other countries to follow and act on World Health Organisation’s travel and health recommendations; China will continue to take good care of foreign nationals in China like its own.
“We will stay in close communication with Nigeria and provide updates on latest developments, protect life and health of Nigerian nationals in China, thereby safeguarding peoples’ health and safety in both countries.”
He identified health sector as important area in China-Africa cooperation, saying China has sent 21,000 medical teams to Africa and treated 220million African patients.
He commended China-Nigeria strategic partnership, adding that China remained committed to implementing the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and advance the Belt and Road cooperation for common development.
Speaking in the same vein, Mr Steve Anthony, China Desk Officer at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that although the world is global village, no community could fight COVID-19 alone.
He said that the efforts of every nation, whether Asia, Africa or America is required to tackle this virus.
“We must commend efforts of China for timely intervention, were it not for the door-to-door campaign, by today I am sure this case will have been worse than what it is.
“We talk about open information, of course with the latest report; China is ready to give anybody and any organisation, information on this virus.
“Information about steps that have been taken both from clinical aspect of it and academic aspect of it and we must commend China in this regard,” Anthony said.
He further urged the media to give accurate and timely report about the COVID-19 to guard against misconception about the virus.
Also speaking, President of China Alumni Association, Mr Suleiman Mohammed, expressed solidarity for the people and government of China.
According to him, as your walk in these difficult times to alleviate treat and control spread of the COVID-19, our admiration stems from the prompt response you have been providing.
Mohammed said, “Your groundbreaking and provision of on the spot hospital with medical facilties in the record nine-day period will definitely be remembered all over the world, as exceptional.
Meanwhile, in a remark, the Director of CCS, Mr Charles Ununaiju, commended Nigeria-China cooperation to have been mutual and loaded with prospects.
According to him, Chinese government had taken proactive measure despite emergency situation to contend this disease and ensure it never becomes a pandemic.
Ununaiju said, “This can only happen with responsible leadership, historic understanding of its responsibility, not only to the Chinese people, but also for the rest of the world, including Nigeria.
“China has had over 95 per cent coverage of health insurance, every Chinese have access to best medical ever and ensures Chinese, who may have contacted the disease access quality healthcare.
“In the context of Nigeria-China relations we have come a long way; this is the 49th anniversary of Nigeria-China diplomatic cooperation, which was established on Feb. 10, 1971.”
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dialogue attracted stakeholders in academic world and China diplomatic mission.