As coronavirus death toll nears 500, Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly called for strong legislative measures and greater judicial and law enforcement efforts to strengthen the capacity to carry out law-based epidemic prevention and control. The government must report information on the virus outbreak in a timely manner and authorities must prevent the epidemic from spreading, China’s news agency quoted Jinping.
Jinping further added that the government will crack down on rumour-mongering related to the coronavirus. China’s President has been noticeably absent from the public view since the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus which has been declared as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Experts on China’s politics have reportedly claimed that the Communist Party wants to shield President Jinping from the brunt of public outrage. The propaganda apparatus has been trying to divert the focus from Jinping and make other officials of Wuhan as the fall guys. According to media reports, Beijing may throw Chinese Premier Li Keqiang under the bus since he has been majorly sidelined in recent years.
Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus briefed the executive board members on the coronavirus outbreak. Calling it ‘first and foremost an emergency for China’, Ghebreyesus underlined that 99 per cent of the cases were in China while 97 per cent of deaths reported were in Hubei province.
WHO Director-General said that they continue to work closely with the Chinese government to support its efforts to address the outbreak at the epicentre. He added that a global research meeting will be convened next week to identify research priorities in all areas, from identifying the source of the virus to developing vaccines and therapeutics, of the coronavirus outbreak.
We call on Member States to:— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 4, 2020
1⃣ share detailed information on the #2019nCoV with @WHO
2⃣ not impose restrictions inconsistent with the International Health Regulations
3⃣ facilitate public-private collaboration for the development of tools to end the outbreak#EB146
(With inputs from agencies)