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John Ross: Realism and clear-headed thinking a must in the coronavirus crisis


By: John Ross    Source: CGTN    Publsihed: 2020-02-10

My thoughts are, of course, first with all the Chinese people who are going through a time of serious stress, and in some cases personal tragedy, faced with the coronavirus. Above all my thoughts are with the Chinese medical and emergency services who are in the front line for all of humanity against this threat not only to China but to every country.

But faced with such a serious situation above all what is required is realism and clear-headed thinking - there is absolutely no virtue in ‘optimism’, there is no virtue in ‘pessimism’ and least of all is there a virtue in panic or exaggeration. The most useful thing I can do is to analyse clearly the data which is appearing internationally on the virus.

Some Western media is engaging in disgraceful attempts to falsify the situation. But fortunately some serious Western organisations, realising the threat, are giving the most accurate information possible.

For example, John Hopkins University, the world-renowned US research university, continues to defy anti-China propaganda in US media by publishing objective data on the coronavirus – so I am going to use its latest data.

The first key data is that at the time of writing the situation in Hubei very serious – with 97% of the world total of deaths. The mortality rate from those declared with the virus in Hubei is 2.8% - a very serious number.

The Chinese government, to counter this dangerous threat, is pouring medical personnel into Hubei.

But the data shows that this effort, and the quarantine and other decisive measures by the Chinese government, are so far containing a great danger to China and world from developments concentrated in Hubei.

The success of the Chinese government’s measures are shown by the fact that at the time of writing the mortality rate in China outside Hubei is only 0.18%. That means that for every 1,000 people who catch the disease outside Hubei 998 survive.

At the time of writing there is only one death from the coronavirus outside China.

This data means clearly that the situation in Hubei is extremely serious, but so far the Chinese government’s action to contain the virus outside Hubei are being successful. Obviously the decisive question is that these efforts by the Chinese government continue to be successful and that the huge resources being allocated by China to eliminating the virus in its heartland of Hubei are successful.

Both China and the rest of the world are therefore relying on the heroic efforts of medical staff, particularly in Hubei but also rest of China, and the Chinese government, to contain the virus.

China’s actions against the coronavirus are being strongly praised in the West by medical professionals, led by the World Health Organisations, who have serious medical knowledge. But Western media figures, who know nothing serious about medical issues at all, are attacking China. This shows the absurd and completely irresponsible behaviour in large parts of the Western media.

In summary, if the coronavirus is not contained it is a serious threat to the whole of humanity in every country. But so far the decisive actions of the Chinese government, which have been strongly praised by the World Health Organisation and other responsible international bodies, are containing that threat. The suffering in Hubei province is intense and tension is naturally great throughout  China’s medical teams, who are the front line not only for their country but for humanity, battle to contain the virus. Not only China but the whole world is entirely depending on them.

John Ross, a senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, British scholar, former Director of Economic and Business Policy of London.

Key Words: The Chinese government   coronavirus   John Ross   RDCY  

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