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Press Release by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Israel Concerning the Novel Coronavirus 2019 Epidemic
2020/01/31

On January 31, 2020, Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Israel issued the following press statement regarding the novel coronavirus 2019 epidemic:

To the Chinese government, people's safety and health always come first, and the prevention and control of the outbreak is our most important work at the current stage. President Xi Jinping has made important instructions and comprehensive deployment. All of China is in action, sparing no effort to save lives and contain the spread of the virus. As WHO Director-General Dr Tedros said, China's response is unprecedented. China has demonstrated its speed, strength and effectiveness and won praise from the international community.

We are confident in defeating the epidemic. The situation remains challenging. But the measures taken by China are showing positive effects. Medical teams from other provinces have arrived in Hubei. Medical supplies are being delivered. Factories are back into full production. New hospitals are being built and put into use. As of now, 183 patients have been cured and discharged, including 80-year olds. Moreover, with strict measures controlling the movement of people, the momentum of the spread of the virus is being curbed within and outside China. All these encouraging developments show that the epidemic is preventable, controllable and curable.

China has been conducting international cooperation in an open, transparent and responsible manner. We have released information to WHO, relevant countries and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions of China at the first time and shared genetic sequence of the virus, facilitating timely and effective response by various parties.

Attaching great importance to the safety of foreign nationals in China, we keep foreign embassies and consulates informed through various channels and work hard to address their difficulties. Foreign affairs offices in different localities have launched hotlines to assist the foreigners in China. China's responsible action has won full recognition of WHO and countries around the world.

Regarding WHO's declaration of the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), WHO Director-General Tedros clearly stated that the main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China. It is about protecting countries with weaker health systems and which are ill-prepared to deal with potential spread. WHO continues to have confidence in China's capacity to control the outbreak. There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. WHO doesn't recommend limiting trade and movement. Director-General's recommendations should be seriously considered. Under current circumstances, solidarity is what the world needs. The epidemic is occurring mainly in China, with limited spread to other countries. China has made an enormous contribution to the world with its concrete actions. All countries should adopt a responsible attitude, work together to combat the virus, and avoid overreaction that may result in more negative spillover effects.

The Chinese Embassy in Israel has maintained close communication with the Israeli government and will cooperate with the Israeli side to jointly strengthen epidemic prevention and control. The Embassy, as well as the Chinese institutions and businesses in Israel, are following closely with the recommendations from the Chinese and Israeli health authorities, and actions have been taken accordingly in a responsible manner, such as health monitoring, postponing unnecessary trips back to Israel and exercising self-quarantine measures on those returned recently.

Numerous Israeli friends have expressed to the Embassy their support of the Chinese people's effort in combating the epidemic. Among them, the City of Netanya and Israel Chamber of Commerce in China have offered to donate medical masks and other equipment. We want to express our sincere appreciation to them. We hope Israeli friends will continue to understand and support China's efforts in epidemic prevention and control.

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