China is taking extraordinary measures to deal with the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, officially named COVID-19. As World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tudors Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, China set a new standard for outbreak response. Yet, despite the sacrifice for a greater good, China’s critics have accused the country of being inhumane. This claim is absurd.
While media outlets such as The Guardian has admitted that China’s measures to contain the disease have delayed transmission to the rest of the world, they also cite critics who claim that China’s behaviour is “typical of its disregard for human rights.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping has directed governmental agencies at all levels to put the health and security of people first. The “tough measures” that some foreign media outlets have decried as inhumane, such as locking down the city of Wuhan, are the result of difficult decisions and great sacrifice for the Chinese people and are for the sake of protecting public health both domestically and abroad.
Those strong measures are working to keep the deadly coronavirus in check. Tudors has pointed out that the massive efforts China has taken to contain the outbreak, despite the severe social and economic impact that they are having on China, is the reason we have not seen many more cases outside of China.
The definition of inhumane is without compassion for misery or suffering. There is nothing to suggest that the measures China has taken to contain the Coronavirus are for the sake of cruelty – and to argue otherwise is just ridiculous and shows ignorance and insensitivity. China is the world’s most populous country and yet everyone is on the same page to end this epidemic as soon as possible.
Not only has the government allocated billions of dollars to combat the virus but also ordinary people are doing whatever they can to help in this battle. In about 10 days, China built two specialised hospitals in Wuhan and numerous other makeshift hospitals. How many countries can quickly unite and mobilise the full weight of its resources to tackle a serious problem head on?
There have been bumps in the road but it is clear that China has placed humanity at the centre of its all-out efforts. Locking down Wuhan, a city of some 11 million, was an unprecedented effort to combat the deadly Novel Coronavirus.
China is perhaps the only country in the world that can take such extraordinary measures at the drop of a hat. The unprecedented and unrivalled actions China has taken demonstrate the strength and advantage of China’s system.
The “heroic measures” China has taken to protect the Chinese people and the people of the world are a strong protection of human rights.