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Hand in Hand on Covid-19 Fight for a Community of Public Health for Mankind

by RAO Hongwei
3:49 pm

Min Daniel Ngamije(L) and Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hongwei

The battle against COVID-19 in Rwanda is on high gear. Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, the Rwandan Government has been consistently following the people-centered approach and taking science-based, comprehensive and rigorous measures, which have achieved major progress in containing the pandemic.

The latest statistics released by the Rwandan Ministry of Health indicate a better future. Early this week, there were more recoveries than active cases and the trend has continued till now. From May 4th, the lockdown measures have been partly eased and people’s life and work are returning to normal at a steady pace.

What’s more, Rwanda contributed one million USD to the funding of the African Union and Africa Center of Disease Control to fight the pandemic. On different occasions, President Paul Kagame has firmly supported the leading role of the WHO in coronavirus fight and called for closer collaboration among members of the EAC, AU and international community. Rwanda truly sets a good example for outbreak response.

China’s Ambassador to Rwanda, I’m deeply encouraged by Rwanda’s counter-virus efforts and achievements. We, the Chinese can empathize with Rwandan people’s experiences in this fight. China is the first country hit hard by the pandemic. We made huge sacrifices to push back the virus and know how tough the battle is.

COVID-19 is a public health crisis and seriously threatens the safety and health of people, poses big challenge to the governance of government, and severely undermines the social economy. Virus knows no borders. No country can shield itself from its impact. It’s a living proof that the world all belongs to a community with a shared future and a common stake. China stands with Rwanda and other African countries in this fight. Together, we have demonstrated to the world that solidarity and cooperation can create a positive momentum.

When China was in the most difficult days, African friends including Rwandan people, assisted us to the best of the capabilities and voiced firm solidarity with China. Now China has achieved major and strategic success in containing the virus and the economy is showing steady recovery. China is repaying kindness from Africa friends and working hand in hand to navigate the tough times. China has donated medical supplies to the African Union and all the African countries having diplomatic relations with China. Chinese public health experts have traveled to Africa to save lives.

The two sides have had frequent exchanges of views online. Going forward, China will continue to provide support to African countries, promote the development of Africa CDC, and enhance cooperation between China and Africa on public health and disease control. I’m sure together, China and Africa can beat COVID-19 and build a public health community with a shared future.

However, unlike in China and Africa where people closely coordinate and cooperate to fight the epidemic, in some parts of the world there have been unpleasant talks about COVID-19. At this critical juncture, it’s really a time for solidarity, collaboration and mutual support, not a time for finger-pointing or blame-shifting. In fighting the virus, fortunes of every country are closely inter-connected. In sustaining social and economic growth, interests of every country are closely aligned.

Facts already prove that no country can tackle this disease on its own. We are all in it together. Chinese President Xi Jinping said mankind belongs to a community with a shared future and in this community, solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons to defeat COVID-19. Viruses are the common enemy of humanity. Working together in partnership is only the right way forward.

Guided by this vision, we insist it is absolutely important that the international community should uphold fairness and justice, rather than politicize the public health issue and stigmatize other countries; different countries need act with a greater sense of common purpose and stronger resolve, rather than engage in a smear and scapegoating campaign.

We propose to improve global governance on public health and support the WHO in playing an important role in the global response to the pandemic.

We hope to enhance the coordination of social and economic policies to stabilize society, ensure economic recovery and guarantee people’s livelihoods. The global industrial and supply chains should keep open, stable and secure.

All these are integral parts of a community of public health for mankind. Hand in hand, we will prevail over the epidemic and make concrete contributions to global public health security.

RAO Hongwei, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Rwanda

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