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Collaboration the key to eradicating COVID-19

Updated: 2021-10-14 10:56 ( China Daily )
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Yukio Hatoyama, former prime minister of Japan, speaks at the forum via a video link. [Photo by  Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily]

Officials and medical experts from home and abroad have called for international cooperation in pandemic prevention and control, and highlighted the use of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of COVID-19.

They were speaking on Tuesday to the Taihu World Cultural Forum in Bengbu, Anhui province.

Yukio Hatoyama, a former Japanese prime minister, said that given the current international situation, the world must take effective measures to deal with the pandemic, achieve economic recovery and maintain global stability.

"The international situation, including relations between major powers, is full of uncertainties and has witnessed the rise of a 'my country first' sentiment," Hatoyama said via a video link.

"The (novel) coronavirus, which is rampant around the world, is a challenge facing mankind. All countries must work together to ensure that all people can have access to prevention and control measures, including vaccination and new drugs to treat COVID-19."

He said the world should embrace different forms of civilization and achieve peace and development, adding that the establishment of a community with a shared future for mankind will change the current international situation.

Kim Seung-ho, the Republic of Korea's consul general in Shanghai, said the core of pandemic response is collaboration, not competition.

"At the early stage of the outbreak, which is the most critical time in the prevention of infectious diseases, efforts against COVID-19 were abruptly politicized. The name of the country where the COVID-19 virus happened to break out was called and fingers pointed, despite its sacrificial efforts," Kim said.

"The glasses of politicization and competition hampered us from learning from some countries' best practices and from legitimately appreciating those countries' contributions in the global battle against COVID-19."

He said the components of the "societal vaccine" for pandemics should be: no politicization; no selfishness; no competition; and no fragmentation, combined with concerted efforts. He added that appropriate measures in the initial stage, social trust, and technology were also essential.

"In his New Year address, President Xi stated that the world is both a single community sharing the same destiny, and simply put, one family," Kim said.

"As long as we stand united like one family, we are immune to any virus, no matter how contagious and devastating it is.

"Unity is the name of the 'vaccine' for international society against any pandemic. United we win, divided we lose."

Yu Wenming, director of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, stressed the importance of building a global community of health for all, and the use of TCM in treating COVID-19 patients in China.

President Xi Jinping first proposed the concept of building a global community of health for all in March last year in a message to French President Emmanuel Macron.

"TCM has been used in the treatment of 90 percent of the (COVID-19) patients in China. By last year, the country had established more than 72,300 health institutions specializing in TCM. The medicine has spread to 196 countries and regions, and more than 40 countries have signed cooperation agreements on TCM with China," Yu said.

"We will deepen cooperation with other countries and establish effective mechanisms for use of the medicine."

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