The Weekend Leader - China objects to 'Chinese virus' stigmatisation

China objects to 'Chinese virus' stigmatisation

New Delhi


 China has strongly objected to the reference 'Chinese virus' used by US President Donald Trump and many people worldwide, for Covid-19, arguing that it is stigmatising the Chinese people.

In a statement issued by spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy here, Ji Rong said although Wuhan city in China first reported the outbreak, there is no evidence that China is the source of the virus that caused Covid-19.

Trump was the first head of a state to call Covid-19 as "Chinese virus" arguing that he wanted to be "accurate" about the origin of the novel coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic. He called it "Chinese virus" after China blamed American soldiers for bringing the contagion to Wuhan. The phrase is now widely being used by people across several countries on social media.

The Chinese spokesperson said, "These arguments ignore the facts and confuse right and wrong. They are irresponsible and do nothing to help international cooperation in epidemic prevention and control. We are strongly opposed to these arguments."

The origin of the novel coronavirus is a matter of science that requires professional and scientific assessment, she said. "Research by scientists from the United States, Europe, China and Japan as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) has shown that there is no certain conclusion as to the origin of Covid-19."

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu season, which began in September 2019 has so far sickened more than 30 million people and killed more than 20,000, Ji Rong said, claiming that CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield admitted some were actually COVID-19.

Pointing out that Chinese people are also victims of the virus, Ji Rong said, there is a clear consensus by WHO and the international community that a virus should not be linked to any specific country, region or ethnic group and such stigmatisation should be rejected.

The pandemic of influenza in 2009 originated in North America, the spokesperson said adding that WHO didn't call it "North American flu". It was eventually named "Influenza A virus subtype H1N1". In the fight against COVID-19, WHO has consistently called on the international community to respect science and respond rationally, and all the governments to educate the public on correct disease naming.

WHO has stressed that any discriminatory practices should be condemned, she said. The use of "China" and "Wuhan" naming the virus by some media must be corrected, and the international community should focus on China's swift response to the epidemic rather than stereotyping the Chinese people, Ji Rong said.

"After the outbreak, in an open, transparent and responsible manner, Chinese government has timely adopted the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures to control the epidemic, provided updates to WHO and international community and shared experience in diagnosis and treatment," the spokesperson said.

"China has neither created the virus nor intentionally transmitted it. The so-called 'Chinese virus' is absolutely wrong. Those people who are trying to stigmatise China's efforts have ignored the huge sacrifices the Chinese people made in safeguarding the health and safety of all mankind, and vilified China's significant contributions to global public health security," the spokesperson said.

"Their moves run counter to the WHO's professional advice and the expectations and efforts of the international community to fight the pandemic together. We hope some people could heed the reasonable voice from the international community and stop making wrongful remarks that stigmatise China," she said. IANS

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