Photo taken on Jan. 22, 2020 shows an exterior view of the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO on Wednesday night extended to Thursday its emergency talks on whether the novel coronavirus outbreak in China constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). (Xinhua/Liu Qu)

The emergence of a previously unknown pathogen has taken a heavy toll on China. Since its unexpected outbreak in a densely populated city, the novel coronavirus has infected about 20,000 people.

But the virus has no nationality and its spread recognizes no boundaries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 20 countries have also been affected. Like any highly contagious disease, it is a common enemy of humanity.

To defeat this virus that humans know very little about, countries must work together in the true spirit of a community with a shared future.

With Chinese making all-out efforts to contain the outbreak, people from many countries have expressed sympathy, confidence and offered their support for the tough fight against the epidemic.

However, it is unfortunate to see some countries inappropriately overreact, creating and spreading fear.

China is taking extraordinary measures to contain the outbreak: pooling resources to the hardest-hit regions, where public transportation is suspended to limit the movement of people and new hospitals are built, and actively sharing relevant information with the global community.

As WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We would have seen many more cases outside China by now … if it were not for the government’s efforts.”

The WHO made a Public Health Emergency of International Concern declaration on the current situation, mainly to urge countries with fragile health systems to enhance their responses. The organization stressed that it disfavors or even opposes imposing travel or trade restrictions on China.

Ironically, several developed countries with sound health systems and advanced public health capabilities imposed unnecessary or even excessive restrictions on China. This could only do more harm than good, fanning panic and discrimination.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Monday said that some irrational remarks about the novel coronavirus outbreak in China have appeared in certain media of certain countries. China firmly opposes such remarks, she said.

“We hope that the international community can view the epidemic in a rational and calm way and make a science-based and measured response,” Hua said.

The epidemic is a challenge faced by all humans in the era of globalization when the destinies of all countries are closely linked.

It takes a global coordinated effort in the process of understanding more about the novel coronavirus.

China has taken the most rigorous measures to protect its people and also people around the world. It’s high time the international community should be united to battle this viral outbreak. Enditem

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Xinhua News Agency, Xinhuanet is an important central news service-oriented website, an important information organ of the central government, and an important platform for building up China's online international communication capacity. Established on November 7, 1997, as an online news provider of the Xinhua News Agency, it was officially named Xinhuanet on March 10, 2000 and began around-the-clock news release with leading online public opinion at home and setting a good image of China abroad as its main task.

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