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Western countries could better fight COVID-19 by learning from China, says Belgian author

Updated: August 17, 2021 Source: Xinhuanet.com
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Citizens keep social distance while waiting for COVID-19 nucleic acid testing in Zhangjiajie, central China's Hunan Province, Aug. 10, 2021. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Referring to China as an example, Belgian writer Michel Collon said that "lots of experts in the scientific community have agreed China's way was the right method."

Western countries didn't react quickly to bring COVID-19 under effective control because they failed to learn lessons and experience from China, Belgian writer Michel Collon said recently.

China "reacted quickly and took radical steps" to curb the spread, the author of the book "Sick Planet, 7 Lessons of COVID" told Xinhua, noting that China was among the first countries to confront the virus.

By contrast, Western governments acted much slower in issuing lockdowns and taking radical measures, argued Collon.

"Governments weren't prepared to combat the spread of coronavirus and didn't react in time because they failed to learn lessons from China," the writer explained.

Passengers walk in the terminal of Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Aug. 12, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng)

Collon's book, first published in December 2020, examines the reasons why Western countries failed to take quick and effective measures like controlling the flow of travel, conducting nationwide testing and tracing, sending sanitary teams of volunteers on the ground, and providing material support for people in quarantine.

In his book, Collon said no Western countries dispatched sufficient teams of volunteers to go out on the ground and offer health and material support to the local population.

Such a practice in the pandemic fight "is only found in countries or regions inspired by socialism," he said, stressing that "the main message in my book is that socialism has proved to be superior for the protection of the people."

Referring to China as an example, Collon said that "lots of experts in the scientific community have agreed China's way was the right method."

Passengers are seen on a train on Subway Line 1 in Luoyang, central China's Henan Province, March 28, 2021. (Photo by Zhang Yixi/Xinhua)

Other countries should have studied China's lessons and experience, he noted, while pointing out that the West has been refusing to do so for years due to "a combination of several factors."

"The West is engaged in a Cold War, in a psychological war, in a disinformation war against China," the author said, criticizing those who doggedly believe that "everything coming from China is bad, everything in China is dangerous and China is a threat to the world."

"There is arrogance: We are better," he lamented.

People receive COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccination site in a stadium in Minhang District, east China's Shanghai, March 28, 2021. (Xinhua/Liu Ying)

As regards the way to ensure an effective solution to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, he called on countries to dispense free vaccines for all citizens.

"You should vaccinate everybody in the world as soon as possible. If you don't do that, the virus, which is in its own way very clever, will adapt and develop new variants and will become more efficient," he said.

However, Collon pointed out, "the West ... has refused to make it possible for all factories to produce vaccines and not let people pay very much money for that."

"I think the solution in the West does not depend on the government, but it depends on the population. We have to change our system. We have to change the rules of the game," he added.

Editor: 杨倩