A man wearing a mask walks past the Regional Science Centre in Oldham, Lancashire Photograph:( AFP )
The World Health Organization recently warned against labelling viruses based on the place where it originated, for it could trigger racist rhetorics
As conspiracy theories surrounding coronavirus gain steam, China is countering them not only with theories of its own, but by simultaneously invalidating them.
Many people across the internet claim that COVID-19 was manufactured by China to gain an economic edge over the world. Amid such claims, people have started referring to the virus as “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus”.
The World Health Organization recently warned against labelling viruses based on the place where it originated, for it could trigger racist rhetorics.
On Wednesday, China lashed out and claimed that it has neither created nor intentionally transmitted the virus. Additionally, China has continuously requested global polity to avoid usage of “Chinese virus”.
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy, Ji Rong, recently asserted that the world should solely focus on the response and tackling of the virus exhibited by China instead of “stereotyping the Chinese people”.
Rong also pointed out the cooperative measures taken by India and China to prevent the virus from spreading across territories. According to Rong, India has provided medical supplies to China and has lent a helping hand.
"We express appreciation and thanks for that," Ji said.
"Those people who are trying to stigmatise China's efforts have ignored the huge sacrifices the Chinese people made in safeguarding the health and safety of all mankind", he added.
He additionally pointed out even though the first case was reported from within China, there’s no evidence linking the birth of the virus to the country.
"China has neither created the virus nor intentionally transmitted it. The so-called "Chinese virus" is absolutely wrong," Ji said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had faced flak recently for referring to pandemic as “Wuhan virus”. China referred to his words as “despicable behaviour” and an attempt to stigmatise the country.
Instances of harassment of people with facial features akin to the Chinese have spurred in India and the US, with many facing attacks on the streets.
"The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the seasonal flu starting from September 2019 has so far sickened more than 30 million people and killed more than 20,000, and CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield admitted some were actually COVID-19 (cases)," Ji said.
"At the early stage of the outbreak, China took a decisive decision to lock down Wuhan and cancel outbound tourist groups to prevent the spread of the epidemic," Ji added.
According to him, China has shared the diagnostic and treatment aspects of the virus with the world from the beginning very openly.
“Since January 3, China has been regularly notifying WHO and relevant countries and regions about the outbreak, and on January 12, it had already shared with WHO the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus”, he added.
“China held an online video conference to brief 19 Eurasian and South Asian countries including India on China’s experience”, the spokesperson added.
"The Chinese enterprises have started to make donations to India. We stand ready to provide further support and assistance to the best of our capability in light of the needs of the Indian side. We believe that the Indian people will win the battle at an early date," he said.
Cases of infections of the deadly coronavirus surpassed 530,000 worldwide on Friday and global deaths rose past 24,000, as COVID-19 spreads across Europe and North America.
(With inputs from agencies)