|China to provide strong support to global fight against COVID-19|
After two months of heroic and hard struggle by the whole Chinese people under the strong leadership of the CPC Central committee with comrade Xi Jinping at the core, China's combat against the COVID-19 outbreak is ushering in the dawn of decisive victory. On March 24, the number of existing confirmed novel coronavirus pneumonia cases throughout the country drastically dropped to 5219, while 73301 cured cases reported nationwide. With the epidemic outbreak being brought under effective control in China, the economic operation and people's daily life are gradually coming back to normal. The operating rate of industrial enterprises above designated size in major industrial provinces in China has exceeded 90%. With the further improvement of the epidemic situation, all provinces and cities across the country are taking more precise measures to accelerate the resumption of production. China, as the "global factory", is on the way to be full of vigor and vitality again.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide. Europe has now become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. In Africa, more than 40 countries reported more than thousand confirmed cases. Guinea, Liberia and other countries that had been hit by the Ebola epidemic were among them. In this continent where the health care system is relatively week, the situation of pandemic prevention and control is severe.
As of March 24, 554 confirmed cases have been reported in South Africa, which is the highest number of reported cases among the African countries. On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa took the unprecedented step in announcing a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. For the first time in South Africa's 25 years of democracy, South African government took such stringent restrictions in responding to the public health crisis. It has won wide acclaim from all walks of life and demonstrated South Africa's firm determination to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking back into the course of China's arduous fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, African countries and people, South African government and people included, rendered China tremendous material and moral support in many ways. The Executive Council of the African Union became the first important regional organization to support China's anti-epidemic efforts. The South African political parties, government, business community, universities and people from all walks of life have highly appreciated China's extraordinary measures to combat the epidemic, expressed the willingness to join hands with China to fight the epidemic. President Cyril Ramaphosa conveyed condolences and expressed support to President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government and people. The South African business community and schools donated masks and other medical materials to China. Dr Brett Singh, a South African doctor working in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province of China, was at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19. All these support and help are so precious to the Chinese government and people, and will always be remembered.
Now, at this critical time when the pandemic is raging on the African continent, China will definitely reciprocate South Africa and other friendly African countries' kindness without any hesitation. China has offered medical supplies to friendly African countries and the African Union including testing reagents and medical protective supplies. The Chinese side also held a video conference to exchange relevant experience with the African side, China's medical teams have carried out training programs on pandemic prevention and control for local health staff in many African countries.
Many Chinese enterprises, non-governmental organizations and overseas Chinese also contributed generously to the African countries' anti-pandemic operations. Among them, it is worth mentioning that on March 22, Ma Yun Foundation and Alibaba Foundation donated 5.4 million masks, 1.08 million kits, 40000 suits and 60000 masks to African countries to fight the pandemic.
On March 20, Chinese enterprises and communities in South Africa donated 3 million rand and testing kits to the South African government to firmly support SA's fight against the COVID-19. The out-going Chinese Ambassador to South Africa H.E. Mr. Lin Songtian stressed at the donation ceremony that this is a global battle between man and nature, no country is immune or can fight alone.
Indeed, in the face of unprecedented outbreak of crisis, closer and stronger cooperation among countries is the only way out. The only right choice is to stay committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind, preventing and controlling the COVID-19 in a scientific manner, and joining hands to fight the pandemic.
As a good friend, good partner and good brother of South Africa, the Chinese government and people will work hand in hand with the South African government and people, and continue to provide assistance to South Africa to the best of our capacity, and share our anti-epidemic experience, so as to resolutely support South Africa in defeating COVID-19 pandemic. With the final victory of China's anti- epidemic struggle and further recovery of industrial production in sight, China will provide greater and stronger support for the global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.