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Interview: International solidarity key to global fight against COVID-19, says expert

Release time: 2020-03-27 00:41:31 Hits: 51

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WASHINGTON, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The experience with the COVID-19 will hopefully lead to more collaborative efforts between countries and "strengthen the notion of a community with a shared destiny," said an expert.

The important lesson in international solidarity "is often forgotten when things are going fine," William Jones, Washington bureau chief of the U.S. publication Executive Intelligence Review, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Noting that the Group of 20 (G20) video conference will be the first important high-level exchange to strengthen the global response to this global threat, the expert said the countries will be eager to learn from China, which has the most experience with the virus.

"The fact that China is playing a proactive role as the threat within China subsides is an important moral as well as practical support to other countries that are now on the front lines," he said.

"Judging from the results, the measures that China has taken in fighting the coronavirus have been very successful," he said, adding that while China had been criticized by the tough measures taken in Wuhan and Hubei province, other countries are now utilizing the same measures, "although still too hesitantly and cautiously to stave off the spread of the disease entirely."

Moreover, the work that China has done in the numerous calls and video conferences has been of critical importance in preparing other countries for dealing with the virus, and the prompt delivery of medical equipment and personnel from China has considerably strengthened the ability of these countries in epidemic response, the expert said.

As the coronavirus subsides, Jones said, the world needs to develop a mechanism to foresee and quickly vanquish new viruses that will inevitably occur, and may have to discuss maintaining "critical reserves" of equipment and protective gear in face of a similar threat.

"This could be under the purview of the WHO, but would have to be regulated by the governments involved. The G20, encompassing both developing and developed countries, becomes an ideal forum in which to deal with these issues," he noted.

On the economic impact of the current epidemic, the expert said the G20 will also need to reconstruct the world economy out of a major financial crisis caused by the virus, perhaps greater than 2008.

This also becomes an opportunity to move away from "our bloated casino economy" largely based on the proliferation of debt and to develop a global system geared to the welfare of people.

"While many alleged 'fortunes' may be lost in the collapse, the use of credit and finance has to be geared to building the world's infrastructure rather than bailing out the speculators," he said.

"This is the type of debate that must arise from this crisis if the world is to have any lasting benefit from the great suffering and sacrifice it entailed," he said.