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Xi’s WHA speech encourages int’l community to assist countries with weaker health systems, experts say

3 min read

 Experts and officials in many countries have spoken highly of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Monday speech at the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA), saying it has offered a “reference sample” for the international community to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Xi’s speech, featuring concrete measures to boost global fight against COVID-19 including providing international aid, has sent a positive signal to unite all forces possible to tackle the pandemic.

Referring to Xi’s remarks that China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity, Zimbabwean Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said he thinks the cooperation mechanism will help African countries improve their medical equipment and get more medical supplies.

“It is a gift for many African countries which don’t have adequate to medical facilities and medicines due to their economic situations,” he said.

Moyo also hailed China for its efforts in helping Zimbabwe and other African countries fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The Chinese government sent medical experts to Zimbabwe and other countries. Therefore, we can get an insight and learn much from the Chinese experts,” he said.

“President Xi Jinping made a remarkable speech at the opening ceremony of the 73rd World Health Assembly Video Conference by noting the importance of international cooperation to combat the virus,” said Ania Chibas, a Cuban epidemiologist and health expert with Labiofam Laboratories in Havana.

“I strongly believe China is being coherent with its principles by urging the international community to support the WHO in confronting the coronavirus epidemic and donating medical supplies to help tackle the disease in developing and developed nations,” Chibas said.

“China has become a role model for the entire world demonstrating that the political will of governments can save lives in the context of COVID-19 and that the world united can better beat the health crisis,” the Cuban expert said.

The Chinese government has not only protected its people, but also contributed to public health systems in poor nations, Chibas added.

Abdulaziz Alshaabani, a Saudi journalist and a China expert, said that Xi’s speech sent a positive signal to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially to encourage the international community to provide more assistance to countries with weaker health systems.

Noting that the virus knows no borders, he said that countries across the world should stand together and cooperate to combine all good forces, so as to provide strong support for the WHO in the current period and curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible.

Isis Betancourt, a general practitioner at Julito Diaz hospital in Havana, said China has shown its commitment to addressing the global health crisis by “not only speaking on the problems but also acting in a very supportive way.”

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the Chinese leadership has adopted a transparent policy for unveiling all details about the disease, said Noha Bakir, a professor in political science with American University in Cairo.

“China has shared the information, data, and researches with the WHO. China is a country of institutions and always deals with the world organization with respect and a sense of responsibility,” Bakir said.

Leslie Salgado, a Cuban expert on health topics at Canal Havana TV news channel, hailed Xi’s speech as “a reference piece for health researchers, governments, NGOs and people committed to improving the current situation.”

“Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed his commitment not only with the global fight against coronavirus, but also with further epidemics to come. What the world needs at the moment is to spread solidarity, collaboration and friendship instead of selfishness,” Salgado said.

The WHA is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization. The 73rd session of the WHA, scheduled from Monday to Tuesday, is held via video link due to the impact of the current pandemic.

According to the WHO, the agenda of the 73rd session was condensed only to essential issues, such as COVID-19 and the executive board members selection. Enditem




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