SCO praises China’s measures against coronavirus

BEIJING, 11 March (TASS) — Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Vladimir Norov has praised the measures being taken in China to clamp down on the coronavirus.

"We appreciate the resolute and effective measures being taken by the PRC government in the fight against the coronavirus, measures that have produced a concrete positive result," Vladimir Norov told TASS on March 11. "The Chinese people have greatly contributed to these efforts by demonstrating spiritual affinity and civic awareness, as well as by practicing the recommended personal preventive measures. Over one billion people regardless of their social or financial status have followed the recommended rules for weeks on end, thereby supporting the measures taken by the Chinese authorities."

The SCO Secretary-General noted that the SCO Secretariat had made a video for people in Wuhan and the rest of China in which it praised the effective measures against the virus being taken by the Chinese government. The video immediately became popular and received some three million views on various media platforms. The SCO member states issued an official statement on the coronavirus epidemic, in which they welcomed the resolute actions being taken by the Chinese government and people and reaffirmed their readiness to provide any assistance required.

The SCO contribution

The SCO Secretariat did not slacken its efforts when the coronavirus epidemic started spreading. "We have coordinated a package of measures to prevent the virus from spreading to our office. We disinfect the building on a daily basis, regularly inform personnel about the situation in Beijing and China as a whole, as well as urge responsible personal hygiene," Vladimir Norov pointed out. "Overall, we have quickly adjusted to the emergency situation and have held all the events that were already planned."

In particular, the SCO sent observer missions to the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan and held meetings of the SCO Council of National Coordinators and expert working groups in Moscow, Islamabad and Tashkent. The SCO Secretariat also attended the 82nd session of the Inland Transport Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which was held in Geneva between 25 and 28 February. A high-level joint event organised by the SCO Secretariat and UNECE, 2030 Agenda along Eurasian Transport Corridors, was held on the sidelines of the session. While in Geneva, the SCO Secretary-General held talks with the heads of UN specialised agencies and other international organisations. In particular, Vladimir Norov met with WHO Deputy Director-General Zsuzsanna Jakab, who praised China's responsible attitude to the epidemic, the large-scale preventive measures and transparency in all spheres, including the provision of reliable and comprehensive information to the international community.

"In short, the SCO has not stopped working one single day. The events held in that period of time will greatly contribute to the Russian chairmanship of the organisation," Vladimir Norov noted.