Forum: China's efforts to combat coronavirus should be commended

An aerial view of the Huoshenshan hospital built to accommodate patients with the coronavirus in Wuhan on Feb 2, 2020.
An aerial view of the Huoshenshan hospital built to accommodate patients with the coronavirus in Wuhan on Feb 2, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

Forum contributor Toh Cheng Seong completely missed my point (Nothing xenophobic about imposing restrictions, Feb 11).

It is important not to exhibit xenophobic feelings as the outbreak could have originated from any other country, as with H1N1 and Zika.

I support the new standards set by China and the world.

The world has imposed restrictions on travellers from China and now some countries have also advised their citizens against travel to Singapore.

These actions are necessary for a safer world but we must not have double standards for future outbreaks.

We could try to understand Beijing's frustration - that the US' response towards the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak was significantly different compared with the current Covid-19 (coronavirus disease).

Beijing' efforts to contain this outbreak should be commended instead - including the locking down of Wuhan and building two hospitals within two weeks.

All these are concrete actions to save lives and significantly cut down on the rate of spread to other parts of the world.

Quite a number of Chinese citizens voiced their unhappiness over the time that lapsed before action was taken, and the Hubei authorities also admitted they should have responded earlier.

This shows that this is an open China today and it will progress even faster after this outbreak.

Sim Lim Onn

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2020, with the headline 'China's efforts to combat coronavirus should be commended'. Print Edition | Subscribe