The Holy Book says “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing…a time for war and a time for peace.”
In light of the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, this expression holds true. Indeed, this is not the time to apportion blame or find fault. It is not the time to call attention to weaknesses or shortcomings. It’s definitely not the time to point an accusing finger or justify the epidemic. This is not the time to discriminate.
Instead, it’s time to come together. This is the time to move with a common goal and purpose. And that purpose is to face the “adversary” currently haunting humanity in the name of Coronavirus. Time has come for all humankind to raise its voice in one accord and declare war against this epidemic.
It is distressing and painful that some degree of discrimination is being directed to people of Chinese origin even though they are doing all they can to stop the spread of this infectious disease.
Attention must shift to the pandemic which in a short span of time has claimed more than 500 lives. Fears still abound over its spread. The virus does not respect borders.
Evidently, China has put its best foot forward, pulling all stops to fight against the novel coronavirus. Authorities in Beijing have been extremely vigilant. If not for their efforts, many agree that the virus could have spread far and wide and faster. And the scale of its harm would have been even more overwhelming.
But, if the last few days have thought us anything, then it’s that, we like it or not, we’re all in this and China needs help, no matter how small, from the rest of the world.
As a responsible nation, China announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from the Chinese mainland.
Makeshift hospitals in Wuhan have been built in record time. Gymnasiums, exhibition centres and sports centres have been converted into hospitals.
In the meantime, China is exploring channels to counter the outbreak. Its scientists are working tirelessly to develop a vaccine. Internally, 11,000 medics across China have been sent to Wuhan, including over 3,000 specializing in critical-condition patients. Solid efforts to beat the disease.
None other than WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has praised China‘s efforts in dealing with the outbreak.
“The fact that to date we have seen only 68 cases outside China and no deaths is due in no small part to the extraordinary efforts China has made. They are doing that at the expense of their economy and other factors,” said Tedros.
These efforts notwithstanding, some countries are still questioning mechanisms employed by China to curb its spread. So far a number of nations have evacuated their citizens from China while others are announcing travel restrictions. A good number of airlines have stopped flights to various Chinese cities.
In the meantime, numerous news reports are not helping the situation as they appear intended to generate nothing but fear by exaggerating the extent of the epidemic. Without a doubt, some are outright misleading.
It takes international solidarity and support to manage an epidemic with the scale of this Coronavirus outbreak.
Due to their economic advantage, nations in the West should offer the relevant medical supplies and whatever else is needed in this war.
Truth is, we are one. ‘Different colours, one people’, Lucky Dube would say. Whether Chinese, African, European, or American. We are all similar, and now more than ever, we need to stand as one.
It is, therefore, encouraging to see organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledging up to $100 million to help find a vaccine to limit coronavirus spread and improve the detection and treatment of patients.
UNICEF says it had shipped six tonnes of respiratory masks and protective suits to protect health workers in China.
“This coronavirus is spreading at a breakneck speed and it is important to put all the necessary resources into halting it,” said Unicef’s executive director, Henrietta Fore.
The coronavirus epidemic will eventually be destroyed but time is of great essence and the international community must mobilize to extend unto China the help it needs at this critical juncture.