Coronavirus ‘our common enemy’ says Chinese consul – Tahiti cases hit 55

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Chinese Consul in Pape'ete Shen Zhiliang ... "even if this virus was detected for the first time in Wuhan, its origin is not necessarily from there." Image: Tahiti Infos

Pacific Media Centre

The Chinese consul in French Polynesia, Shen Zhiliang, has described the new coronavirus causing the global Covid-19 pandemic as “our common enemy”.

He said this in an interview earlier this month with Tahiti Infos while expressing satisfaction with local health authorities’ strategy in dealing with the spread of the virus while the number of Tahiti cases yesterday rose to 55.

Two more people were reported to have the infection.

READ MORE: French coronavirus death toll tops 14,000

It is the second day in a row that two positive tests have been recorded after four days without any additional cases.

The tally also shows that the number of carriers in hospital remains at one.

All cases are concentrated on the main island of Tahiti and Moorea.

To curb the spread of the virus, a curfew remains in force until April 29.

Origin questioned
In Shen Zhiliang’s recent interview, he questioned whether the coronavirus had actually originated in Wuhan, China, as is generally reported.

“As you no doubt know, China’s fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus has already passed crucial phases and brought success,” he said.

“You are talking about a virus that started in Wuhan. But according to several scientists and researchers around the world, even if this virus was detected for the first time in Wuhan, its origin is not necessarily from there.

“We are still trying to find out what the real origin is. The Covid-19 epidemic affects all of humanity today.

I think that before stigmatising a possible region of origin, we must consider that it is our common enemy.”

Asked about the Chinese government’s response to the virus, Shen Zhiliang replied: “When we talk about the measures taken … since the beginning of the epidemic, it must be said that our government has made the health and life of its people a priority.

“That is why we have adopted the most complete, strictest and most rigorous measures.”

‘Identical to France’
Asked about the French Polynesian authorities’ response, he said: “Since the beginning of the epidemic, I have been in contact with the local authorities. As the Chinese Consul, we have provided the Ministry of Health with timely diagnostic and treatment procedures provided by our Health Committee.

“I also observed the measures adopted by the Polynesian authorities. I note that many of them are identical to those implemented in mainland France. In China, it is often said that the national reality of each country must be respected.

“In our experience, and since this is now a pandemic, containment and isolation are absolutely necessary. It is the best way to stop the spread of the virus by cutting the chains of infection.

“One or two weeks ago, by invitation, I met members of the Faa’a town hall, to share with them our experience on the measures to be taken. We all know that this new virus is extremely contagious. ”

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