March 17, 2020 / 12:53 AM / 23 days ago

World should learn lessons from China in coronavirus fight - China Daily

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The rest of the world should learn from China and follow the principles of early detection, early quarantine and early treatment in order to halt the global spread of the coronavirus, the official China Daily said in an editorial on Tuesday.

Though the coronavirus was first discovered last year in the city of Wuhan, where officials initially tried to cover up the outbreak, China has sought to emphasize the positive role it has played in controlling the global spread of the disease.

With the number of new domestic cases dwindling, China has now turned its attention to controlling new infections coming into the country from overseas, where the pandemic continues to spread.

China Daily said Singapore, Japan and South Korea had all “based their responses on the experience and lessons drawn from China’s successful battle with the virus”, and China was now “proactively sharing” its best practices.

But not all countries are paying attention, increasing the possibility that the epidemic will get worse, the newspaper said.

“(D)espite the unmistakable seriousness of the situation, some countries have tried to play down the risks, and the measures they have taken are not only insufficient to control the pandemic at home, but also not enough to prevent themselves from being the source of virus transmission to other countries,” it said.

It said “the drastically worsening situations” in some countries showed the importance of targeted measures to improve quarantine and treatment, and they should also strengthen communication and cooperation to better coordinate their efforts.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres last week that China’s efforts to control the outbreak had given the world “precious time” to formulate their own responses.

China and the United States have been in a war of words about the pandemic, with many senior U.S. government officials, including President Donald Trump, continuing to refer to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus”.

Top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday that attempts by U.S. politicians to denigrate China’s efforts to curb the coronavirus would not succeed, and could lead to retaliation.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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