Morgunblaðið Publishes A Signed Article by Ambassador Jin Zhijian Entitled Fully Confident in Winning the Battle Against the Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia

On Feb 8, the famous Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið published a signed article by Ambassador Jin Zhijian entitled Fully Confident in Winning the Battle Against the Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia. In the article, Ambassador Jin comprehensively introduced the major measures taken by the Chinese government to prevent and control the epidemic and the positive results achieved. He stressed that the Chinese government and people have full confidence and strong capacity in winning the battle. The full text is as follows:

Recently, like everyone else, I have been following closely the development of the current pneumonia epidemic caused by novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and I am worried and distressed to see the number of confirmed cases and deaths increase every day. I also notice that the local community and media are very concerned about the epidemic, especially the negative impact of the reduction of Chinese tourists on the Icelandic tourism industry.


Since the outbreak of the epidemic, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government responded to the epidemic in a highly responsible manner to the people of its own and the whole world. It called for over 1.4 billion Chinese people to join force and fight the virus in a race against time. For the time being, a comprehensive and multi-layered prevention and control system covering the central government and local governments at all levels has been well established. A series of powerful emergency measures have been taken. China has shut down public transportation in Wuhan city and other severely affected areas, extended the Spring Festival holiday and school winter holidays, temporarily closed public places, suspended domestic and overseas group trips, shared protection knowledge, speeded up vaccine development, and held daily press conferences. China has invested about 6.7 billion US dollars in the prevention and control of the epidemic, dispatched nearly 10,000 medical personnel and a large number of medical supplies from all over the country to support Wuhan. Two hospitals equipped with 2,500 isolation beds were build in just two weeks and have started treating patients infected. Many medical staffs took huge risks yet spared no efforts to save people's lives. With such efforts, the measures taken are showing positive effects. The 2019-nCoV mortality rate in China is about 2.1%, cases confirmed overseas are less than 1% compared with cases confirmed in China, both much lower than the figures of the H1N1 flu in the US in 2009 and other previous cross-border epidemics. Those facts fully prove that the strong measures taken by the Chinese government are appropriate and effective, and the epidemic of the novel coronavirus pneumonia can be prevented, controlled and cured.


In the battle against the virus, China has always been conducting international cooperation in an open, transparent and responsible manner. We have released information to and shared genetic sequence of the virus to WHO, relevant countries and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions of China at the earliest time, invited WHO experts to visit Wuhan for field study, so as to facilitate timely and effective response by various parties. China has taken the most strict and comprehensive control measures that are far exceeding WHO recommendations and IHR requirements and won praise from WHO and the international community. As WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros noted, declaring a public health emergency of international concern is to help countries that have weaker health systems and are ill-prepared. It is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China's capacity to control the outbreak. There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international trade and travel. The only way to defeat the outbreak is for all countries to work together in s a spirit of solidarity and cooperation.


Virus knows no border. Facing with the sudden public health challenge, countries from all over the world need to work together, rather than downplay China. China appreciates the rational approach taken by the Icelandic government following the outbreak of the epidemic. Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has written a letter to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, in which she conveyed the sympathy and support of the Icelandic people for China's valiant efforts to contain the outbreak of novel coronavirus, and expressed full confidence in China's firm resolve to take all necessary measures to prevent any further spread of the disease. This move fully demonstrates the close bilateral relations between China and Iceland in face of the challenge together. Many Icelandic friends have also shown support in their own ways to the Chinese government and the Chinese people, to which I am deeply touched. As Chinese Ambassador to Iceland, I have been keeping in close contact with Iceland's health and police system and being prepared to face the challenge together.


To avoid possible spread of the virus, China has suspended all overseas group trips. As a result, there have been less Chinese tourists to Iceland. We hope our hard-made decision can be fully understood by Icelandic friends. I believe that with the effective control of the epidemic, the Chinese government will lift the travel restrictions in due course. We are looking forward to more and more Chinese tourists visiting Iceland with the direct flight that will be launched this year. I am sure that the impact of the epidemic on Iceland's tourism industry is only temporary, and the business opportunities that Chinese tourists will bring to Iceland's tourism industry is immense.


In the long course of history, the mankind has endured many difficulties but always managed to forge ahead. In these challenging times, we need more calm than panic, more standing together rather than seeking benefits at the expense of others. I believe that with the understanding and support of the international community, the Chinese government and people have full confidence and strong capability in winning this battle as soon as possible.


Jin Zhijian  Chinese Ambassador to Iceland