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China issues white paper on COVID-19, denying lawsuits or compensation claims

15:21 | 08/06/2020

In the white paper published on Sunday, Beijing seeks to explain its steps and measures in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic, saying it has provided WHO and the US ‘timely information’ about the coronavirus.    

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The 37,000-word White Paper on fighting COVID-19: China in Action, contains four chapters

The Covid-19 global pandemic is the most extensive to afflict humanity in a century. A serious crisis for the entire world, and a daunting challenge, it poses a grave threat to human life and health,” the white paper said in its foreword.

The document, titled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action," was issued by the State Council Information Office amid rising amid tension between the US and China.

The 37,000 word was divided into four chapters. Notably, in Chapter 1 which is named “China’s Fight against the Epidemic: A Test of Fire”, China said it has “addressed the epidemic as a top priority, and taken swift action”.

“As soon as cases of pneumonia of unknown cause were identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China acted immediately to conduct etiological and epidemiological investigations and to stop the spread of the disease, and promptly reported the situation. In a timely manner, China informed the WHO and other countries, including the US, of the developing situation, and released the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus” according to the white paper.

However, Trump administration repeatedly accused China of allegedly covering up the viral spread and slowing the response so that the virus could ravage the rest of the world.

The U.S – half a world away from Wuhan – is now the country most hit by the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, China – down from the top to 18th position.

china issues white paper on covid 19 denying lawsuits or compensation claims

The white paper was issued to record the Chinese people's battle against the virus, share with the international community China's experience in curbing the virus and clarify China's stance in fighting the virus, according to Global Times.

As of May 31, China reported a total of 83,017 confirmed COVID-19 patients, among which 78,307 were discharged from hospital with 4,634 deaths, which makes the country's mortality rate 5.6 percent and a cure rate of 94.3 percent, read a white paper

In early June, AP news also announced findings from an independent investigation that China had delayed releasing coronavirus information to WHO, making the organization frustrated over not getting the information they needed to fight the spread of the deadly virus.

As AP reported, despite the plaudits, China in fact sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information.

The three remaining parts of the white paper include: “Well-Coordinated Prevention, Control and Treatment”, “Assembling a Powerful Force to Beat the Virus” and “Building a Global Community of Health for All”.

As for the origin of COVID-19, the white paper states that the source is still under study.

“The novel coronavirus is a previously unknown virus. Determining its origin is a scientific issue that requires research by scientists and doctors. The conclusion must be based on facts and evidence. It is both irresponsible and immoral to play the blame game in an attempt to cover up one’s own shortcomings. China will never accept any frivolous lawsuits or compensation claims.”

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Jennifer Tran