Passengers with face masks are seen in a bus in New York City, the United States, Aug. 2, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
by Raheela Nazir
The politicization of COVID-19 origin tracing and anti-China remarks would only undermine global efforts to defeat the deadly virus, a Pakistani expert has said.
“This is unfathomable as the still raging pandemic is a greater challenge to humanity at the moment and requires global efforts,” Muhammad Asif Noor, director of the Islamabad-based think tank Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, told Xinhua on Tuesday.
China, since the onset of COVID-19, has been cooperating with the international community and officials of the World Health Organization (WHO) to trace the virus origins in a professional, scientific, and unbiased manner with a view to tackling such unexpected pandemics in the future, Noor noted.
As the virus alarm was raised by authorities in Wuhan, central China at the end of 2019, the Chinese government and its people fought with bravery and strength to control the spread of the virus, he said.
China has also shared vaccines with more than 100 countries across the world, helping save lives and fight pandemics globally, he said, adding that Pakistan was among the first recipients.
A handover ceremony of a batch of China-donated COVID-19 vaccine is held at Noor Khan Air Base near Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 1, 2021. (Xinhua/Liu Tian)
Noor, however, noted that despite all the honest contributions, a bunch of Western countries, including the United States, are hell-bent on unwarranted politicization of virus origins and making controversial remarks.
“Politicizing and malicious campaigns” would hamper global anti-virus efforts, he said. “Not relying on the science-based and professional solution will be far more lethal and infectious than the virus itself.”
Talking about the recently proposed second phase of studies planned by the WHO into the virus origin, he said that the recent plan disregards science and common sense, bent on peddling the lab leakage theory which was jointly declared null and void in the first phase of the study.
There is a sense of urgency to work on already completed work in phase one, Noor said. Also, investigations should be conducted “not solely in China but also other countries including the U.S. if they are serious enough to find objective truth and reality to discover the origin.”
A health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in a mobile COVID-19 vaccination vehicle near Xidan business area in downtown Beijing, capital of China, April 7, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has recently urged the United States to take steps to trace the COVID-19 origins if it wants to show transparency, including disclosing data on early cases, allowing a thorough international probe into the U.S. Fort Detrick lab and the 200-plus U.S. biological labs overseas, and publishing medical records on U.S. military personnel who fell ill during the Military World Games in Wuhan.
Commenting on the statement, Noor said that being a sovereign country, China has all the rights to demand such a probe.
“The U.S. should be answerable to all these questions and steps. This is about equality and objective truth. You need to follow that if you are honest enough,” Noor said.
“The world is watching and will remember who was busy conspiring and who was busy helping the world,” he added.