China continues to fight coronavirus: Ambassador

By Anyway Yotamu and Joyce Mukucha

China will continue strengthening communication with authorities in charge of disease prevention in the country to ensure safety and prevention of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This was said by Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun after he paid a courtesy call on Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda at his Parliament offices in Harare on Thursday 20 February 2020.

Ambassador Guo said his government will continue to update the nation and the world on coronavirus.

Addressing  journalists after meeting the Speaker of Parliament, Ambassador Guo hailed the support from the Zimbabwean Parliament in the fight against COVID-19.

“I briefed the Honourable Speaker on the latest developments concerning coronavirus. We appreciate the support from the Zimbabwean Parliament in the fight against this deadly virus,” he said.

“We are still facing serious challenges, but the trends have improved, very encouraging. Yesterday we received 394 cases of new infections less than the previous recorded, meaning our efforts are working. We have found ways to contain the spread of the virus and the ability to treat the patients has improved.”

He said Zimbabwean nationals in China were safe, adding that his Government will continue to prioritise their safety.

“I briefed the Honourable (Speaker) about Zimbabwean nationals in China, that they are safe and we will continue to ensure their safety,”

Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda expressed gratitude for a constructive meeting with Ambassador Guo.

“He came with a compressive update on COVID-19, how it has affected the people of China and the compressive measures that have been put in place to contain the virus and also the fact that the rate of infections has gone down and it is our hope that it will continue to go down and we are happy that Chinese medical staff have been working round the clock to not only treat but to also find a permanent vaccine to ensure that the virus is totally medically defeated,” he                                                                          said.

Adv Mudenda said plans were afoot to invite the Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo to issue a ministerial statement on the virus to defuse misconceptions emanating from social media.

“I have also indicated to the Chinese ambassador that as Parliament and policymakers, we are going to invite the Minister of Health and Child Care to make a ministerial statement, so that members of Parliament are guided and informed and take the message to their constituencies to ensure that there are no misconceptions that arise from some rumour-mongering that has been awash on social media,” he said.

China is grappling with the COVID-19 virus with figures indicating that by the end of Tuesday there had been 74 185 confirmed cases, while 5 248 were suspected to have been infected with the virus.

A total of 2 004 deaths had been recorded so far in China since the deadly outbreak start last month.

On Tuesday alone, 136 deaths were recorded and of these, 132 were recorded in Hubei Province, one in Heilongjiang, Shandong, Guangdong and Guizhou, respectively.

Tuesday also saw 14 376 people being discharged from hospital after recovering. However, the Chinese country recorded 1 794 new cases.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende