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Ambassador's interview for Fena

       1. What is the present situation in the PRC regarding the coronavirus epidemic?

       Answer: The situation with the coronavirus epidemic is still difficult, but we have a lot of evidence and we are convinced that the epidemic can be prevented, controlled and cured. To prove it, I would like to share two pieces of information with you.

       The first is the figure of "2%". This outbreak is caused by a previously undetected new coronavirus with a mortality rate of about 2%. By comparison, mortality rate from Ebola virus is 40.4%, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) 34.4%, and in case of the H1N1 influenza virus in the US in 2009 it was 17.4%, with 1.632 million confirmed and 284 thousand deaths. This data is much larger than the current epidemic.

       The low mortality rate from this epidemic is attributed to the decisive, effective and scientific prevention and control measures taken by China. Already on the first day of Chinese New Year, President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting at which he gave comprehensive guidelines, with the aim of strengthening epidemic prevention and control. Just two days after, on the third day of Chinese New Year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang personally traveled to Wuhan to learn about the activities being undertaken in the prevention and control of this epidemic. China has carried out a general mobilization of the whole country. Each of the 31 provinces in mainland China have taken comprehensive and stringent prevention and control measures. Under the unique control of the Central Government, medical staff, engineers, construction workers and necessary supplies were brought to Wuhan from all over the country. We developed a viral nucleic acid detection kit in just 3 days. Within 10 days, we built the "Huo Shen Shan Hospital" for admission of patients, with an area of 33,900 square meters. This is the "Chinese speed" and one episode of Chinese people's efforts in the race against the virus during this war on epidemics, as well as a source of our confidence in victory.

       The second figure is "1%". Since the outbreak of the epidemic worldwide, less than 1% of infections have occurred outside China. The World Health Organization (WHO) Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that 99% of cases occurred in China. He noted that China tightly controlled the epicenter and the source of the virus, and that its strategy is effective and results outstanding, emphasizing that China not only protected its nationals but also made every effort to stop the spread of the virus to other countries. All this testifies to China's responsible attitude, ability and self-confidence.

       In combating the epidemic, China has consistently adhered to the principles of openness and transparency, as well as a very responsible attitude towards global health security. Among the external measures, relevant institutions of the Chinese side timely informed the World Health Organization, relevant countries and Chinese regions of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan about the epidemic, giving them the genome of the new coronavirus, so that all parties could respond to the epidemic in a timely and effective manner. As part of internal measures, China has firmly "locked down" the heavily affected city, tightened control over Chinese tourists' trips abroad, urged the public to actively take on social responsibility in preventing the spread of the epidemic, and worked hard to reduce the impact of the epidemic on other countries. The figure of 1% not only proves the effectiveness of prevention and control measures taken by the Chinese side, but also the contribution that China has made with its actions in protecting the health of people around the world.

       2. What activities does the Embassy undertake to prevent the spread of the disease in BiH, especially when it comes to Chinese nationals traveling to BiH?

       As of January 24, the Chinese government ordered all Chinese travel agencies and travel companies to suspend group travel. The number of Chinese tourists who have recently entered Bosnia and Herzegovina has decreased significantly.

       The Embassy of the People's Republic of China closely monitors relevant measures in BiH and has addressed a warning to Chinese nationals entering BiH, reminding them to actively cooperate with the BiH side in carrying out appropriate screening measures and that those who were in Wuhan or have been in contact with people who were there, should timely report to the Embassy. We also maintain close contacts with Chinese companies and Chinese communities in BiH, and have clearly requested that employees of Chinese companies who come to BiH lately take self-isolation measures for 14 days. The number of Chinese nationals residing here who have recently returned from China is limited. Only about 80 people returned to BiH after returning home during the Chinese New Year celebration. Although they are not from the area with a serious epidemiological situation, they have voluntarily suggested staying home during the incubation period, with the aim of alleviating the concerns of friends in BiH. The Embassy appreciates their initiative and requires them to visit a doctor immediately and notify the Embassy in case of doubt. All the diplomats and staff in our Embassy have taken adequate measures of prevention.

       3. What is the cooperation with competent institutions in BiH?

       The Embassy maintains continuous communication with relevant institutions, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and informs the BiH side of relevant information from the Chinese side on epidemic prevention and control. The BiH authorities have also taken strict measures of reaction to the epidemic. No confirmed or suspected cases are currently registered here. We are ready to continue to maintain close communication and cooperation with relevant institutions in BiH.

       4. Do you have any message for the BiH public?

       Since the outbreak of the epidemic, people from all walks of life in BiH have expressed their condolences, trust and support for China in various ways. Serb Member of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik sent a letter to President Xi Jinping, saying that he appreciates the Chinese government's efforts to prevent and control the epidemic, emphasizing his belief in the strength of China and the Chinese people. Other friends, including former Chairman of the Council of Ministers Zlatko Lagumdžija, also sent us videos of condolences and provided us with great moral support. The Embassy receives condolences every day from all over BiH. Many friends in BiH have expressed their willingness to donate money and supplies to China. The friendship of the people of BiH towards the Chinese people is touching. We Chinese often say "We know which grass is strongest in the strong wind and which flower is most solid in cold." When we encounter difficulties, the understanding and support of the people of BiH give us comfort. On this occasion, on behalf of the Embassy, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my friends in BiH! I believe that with the help of the international community, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, we will soon win this war without fire. "After the rain comes the sun."

       I wish you all peace and health.

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