By He Yin
In the face of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, mankind cannot attach too much importance to solidarity and cooperation, just like an ancient Roman aphorism quoted by Chinese President Xi Jinping “We are all waves of the same sea.”
At the recently-concluded 74th World Health Assembly (WHA), which was themed “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world”, participants all expressed the intention to continue enhancing solidarity and cooperation, heightening the functions of the World Health Organization (WHO), and actively improving the global health governance system.
The past year and more have seen repeated resurgence and frequent mutations of the coronavirus. “We might be tired of COVID-19. But it is not tired of us. Yes, it preys on those in weaker health. But it preys on other weaknesses, too: inequality, division, denial, wishful thinking and willful ignorance,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last November at the 73rd WHA.
Facts have proven that his warning is no exaggeration. According to statistics recently released by the WHO, the past year witnessed a 40-fold increase in the number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 and an 11-fold rise in the number of COVID-19 fatalities. In addition, the global numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths from the virus since the beginning of 2021 have surpassed the corresponding figures of 2020.
What’s worse, a lack of supply and inequitable distribution of vaccines still remains the biggest threat to ending the acute stage of this pandemic and driving a global recovery, according to Tedros.
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently said in his video message to the WHA that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought “a tsunami of suffering”.
To clinch an early victory against COVID-19 and restore economic growth is the top priority for the international community.
China has put people and their lives first, followed science-based policies and ensured a coordinated and systemic response, offering other countries important experience in fighting the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the country has called on countries to stick together, promote solidarity and cooperation, uphold fairness and equity while striving to close the immunization gap, and address both the symptoms and root causes as they improve the governance system. In doing so, China contributes its wisdom and strength to global anti-epidemic cooperation.
Global cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 has proven that the idea of building a global community of health for all accords with historical and development trend, points the way to joint efforts of mankind to tackle challenges, and is winning more and more understanding and support.
“The first lesson we may learn from this crisis is that we can only succeed together. No country can save the world alone, and no country can save itself alone. Every one of our citizens knows that this pandemic is global by nature. Global through the mechanisms of contamination, and in our responses,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in his video address at the 74th WHA.
This pandemic has demonstrated how interconnected countries are and how dependent they are on each other for health and well-being, pointed out South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who believes only by adhering to multilateralism can countries build a healthier, safer and fairer world.
China has been widely applauded by the international community for continuously injecting positive energy into global COVID-19 fight and economic recovery.
To address the most pressing problem of immunization gap, China has honored its commitment to make Chinese vaccines a global public good in spite of limited production capacity and huge domestic demand.
China has provided free vaccines to more than 80 developing countries in urgent need, exported vaccines to 43 countries, and already supplied 300 million doses of vaccines to the world, ranking first in the world in terms of the number of COVID-19 vaccines provided for foreign countries.
At the 74th WHA, delegates from many countries expressed their gratitude to China for helping them combat the COVID-19 by donating vaccines, sending experts, and transferring technologies.
The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines Senegal received was from China, according to a Senegalese delegate to the assembly.
“Sierra Leone was fortunate to receive 240,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine generously donated by the People’s Republic of China,” said the country’s Minister of Health and Sanitation Austin Demby.
“I would like to highlight the significance of reaching an international strategy to improve access to medicines and vaccines with a focus on the importance of technology transfer, which Egypt has already done through constructive cooperation by resettling the vaccine industry and transferring manufacturing technology from the Chinese side,” said Egypt’s Minster of Health Hala Zayed.
Mankind must fight against the COVID-19 through global efforts, response, and cooperation. Time has proven and will continue to prove that mankind needs to build a healthier, safer, and fairer world, and it’s crucial that countries join hands to build a global community of health for all and work for a healthier and brighter future for humanity.