Doha, 20 May 2020 (Qatar Tribune)
By Ashraf Siddiqui
THE People’s Republic of China was the first to caution the world against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Ambassador to Qatar HE Zhou Jian has said.
Talking to Qatar Tribune, the ambassador said that China approached the World Health Organisation (WHO) and also invited its team to visit Wuhan, the centre of COVID-19 in Hubei province. Subsequently, on January 1, 2020, the WHO set up the Incident Management Support Team (IMST) at the levels of headquarter, region and country to deal with the outbreak of COVID-19 on an urgent basis. Describing the timeline of events further, the ambassador said the WHO reported
on January 4 through its social media account that “there was a cluster of pneumonia cases with no deaths in Wuhan”. It published its first report on the outbreak on its website on January 5. Thailand was the first country outside China to report its first COVID-19 case on January 13.
Sharing China’s experience of handling the pandemic successfully, Jian said self-quarantine is the most effective way of keeping oneself protected from the virus.
“Let’s believe in science rather than rumours. Stay home, stay healthy and remain optimistic.” He said boredom is natural during self-quarantine and one should devise ways to overcome it. He said that besides working, he does jogging, watches Chinese comedies and calls his family everyday to keep himself in good
He added that he also meditates and spends weekends playing table tennis and reading books, which are both his hobbies. “We all should get used to the new norm of life,” he noted. He said that as a diplomat, he has cancelled several external activities and meetings of the embassy while most of the embassy staff work from home, strictly abiding by Qatar’s COVID-19 prevention measures, and following social distancing.
The envoy said that the cooperation between Qatar and China to fight the pandemic has brought people of the two countries even closer. He said he was keeping in touch with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as well as many other departments of Qatar Government through phone to discuss enhancing cooperation.
Meanwhile, he urged Chinese community members and other residents of Qatar to strictly follow the guidelines of the government to keep the virus at bay, including washing hands, putting on masks, and avoid going out unless necessary