By He Yin, People’s Daily
China called for equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide and stressed the importance of improving the accessibility, affordability, and production of such vaccines in developing countries, including least developed countries, to save lives and end the pandemic as soon as possible.
China made the appeal during a recent dialogue on COVID-19 on behalf of 63 countries with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
China’s proposal represented the common aspiration of the international society, especially the developing countries, and fully demonstrated its major country responsibility to safeguard the right to life and health of the people around the world.
The right to life and health is a fundamental right of every human being. It is what guarantees that people live a life in dignity. The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has posed severe threats against the right to life and health of the people across the world, and how to protect this right of the people amid the pandemic is testing the value of the philosophies and practices of human rights protection of all countries.
The world’s anti-pandemic efforts in the past year proved that only by placing people’s lives and health in the first place can countries effectively safeguard their right to life and health.
Since the outburst of the disease, China has always upheld a people-centered approach in safeguarding people’s right to life and health, tried its best to maintain infections and mortality at the lowest level possible, and treated patients and saved lives impartially.
From locking down Wuhan, former epicenter of the disease with over 10 million people, and launching the largest medical assistance operation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, to doing everything possible to treat each and every patient, and to giving a total of 1.38 billion doses of vaccines, China has profoundly explained its lofty ideal of putting its people above everything.
“If I have COVID-19, I want to be treated in China.” The remarks by Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the Director-General of WHO, are a powerful endorsement for China’s efforts to safeguard people’s right to life and health.
Pandemic prevention is a battle that involves all human beings. To safeguard the health of mankind, China is firmly advancing international cooperation on fighting the disease, and joining hands with all parties concerned to build a global community of health for all. The country gave timely notification to the international community of the onset of a new coronavirus, and shared without reserve its experience in containing the spread of the virus and treating the infected. As of April this year, China has dispatched 37 medical expert teams to 34 countries, and has provided or is providing anti-pandemic assistance for 151 countries and 14 international organizations. By mid-June, the country has provided more than 290 billion masks, 3.5 billion protective suits and 4.5 billion testing kits to the world. So far, it has donated and exported more than 500 million doses of finished and bulk vaccines to the international society. The medical devices, vaccines and technologies offered by China have saved numerous lives, and are considered timely assistance.
The people-centered approach in human rights protection of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is well explained by China’s efforts to protect people’s right to life and health amid the COVID-19 epidemic. The CPC has always maintained the nonprofit nature of medical care, and constantly enhanced its protection over the right to life and health. Since 2012, the CPC Central Committee with comrade Xi Jinping at the core has given top priority to improving the people’s health, proposed that prosperity for all is impossible without health for all, and made a significant decision to implement the Healthy China initiative.
In 2019, the average life expectancy of Chinese residents rose to 77.3 years, and their main health indicators were generally higher than the average level of middle- and high-income countries.
Recently, China was granted a malaria-free certification by the WHO, which marked another milestone of its health development. The WHO called it “a notable feat,” saying the success was hard-earned and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action.
Our fight against COVID-19 is still going on, and the life and dignity of every one of us must be well protected. China will keep on working with the rest of the world and firmly advance anti-pandemic cooperation, so as to jointly build a global community of health for all and safeguard the future of mankind.
By He Yin, People’s Daily