Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing Photo: Li Hao/GT
The new outbreak of coronavirus in Xinfadi, a wholesale vegetable market in Beijing, once again has reminded the Chinese people that the virus has not gone away and that we are in the fight against it for the long haul, a battle that we must win.
The prevention and control measures in Beijing, China’s capital, were among the strictest in the country, yet still Beijing has been hit. We must accept the reality that the coronavirus is hard to prevent.
We must also admit that we still know little about COVID-19. Our knowledge is still limited about where the virus comes from, how it spreads and how COVID-19 patients should be treated.
This determines that when there are still many countries affected by the epidemic, it is impossible for China to completely eradicate the virus. The epidemic may break out from unexpected directions, and we must be able to withstand such situations and respond effectively. What happened in Beijing is very likely not the end of China’s domestic COVID-19 spread.
To cope with COVID-19 in the long run, we must at least do two things. First, we must let our prevention and control system stand unremittingly. We should be able to detect new confirmed cases in a timely manner, and quickly lock and cut off the chain of infection. We must win every fight, confine every outbreak to a relatively small range and prevent it from spreading far and wide across regions. This is a hard test for us.
Second, our COVID-19 fight should be more precise and accurate. We should not let the new local epidemic control mobilization bring a large-scale or even a national panic. We must avoid the new local epidemic from affecting the resumption of work and production.
This time, Beijing has responded quickly and powerfully in targeted local areas, but it has not announced a city-wide raise in the COVID-19 emergency response level. This has gained general support from public opinion.
In the past couple of months, places across China have been through fights to contain the virus while pushing forward resumption of work and production. China has accumulated much experience in this regard. As the anti-virus fight drags on, China must boost the effectiveness of its anti-epidemic measures and try to contain the new outbreak, so the impact on people’s lives will be minimized and the country’s economic recovery will not be disrupted. This can be seen as the lifeline to win this battle.
The Chinese people have confidence that the epidemic in Beijing can be contained and the country has the ability to contain these situations anywhere in China. Beijing residents are concerned about the details of the latest outbreak, but there was no major panic. Many people believe the situation will turn for the better after one or two incubation periods of the virus. This mature mentality is a reflection of the country’s initial anti-virus success.
More and more people do not suggest holding officials accountable in one particular epicenter right away, which shows their truth-seeking attitude. All places, while engaging in long-term virus control and prevention, should pay attention to public interests. People need safety as well as a normal life and work. Unless they are under extreme circumstances, people do not welcome extreme measures.
Beijing can quickly control the epidemic, and this is not in question. Hopefully Beijing, on the basis of the national anti-epidemic experience, can win this fight with minimum cost and demonstrate new progress. This is the expectation of Beijing’s residents as well as all Chinese people.