Fighting COVID -19 through Solidarity and Cooperation
A tiny virus, Novel Corona Virus, has destabilized the whole world. The whole world system is at stake. COVID-19 pandemic has spread to every continent and nobody knows how long it would stay. COVID-19 has forced us to look into the existing system of the world and leaving a great experience for us to reshape the world.
As the UN Secretary General has said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how fragile the world system is and how inept is the system to face the brunt of pandemic. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the health system of the developed countries led by USA and its ally European Union has miserably failed to withstand the attack of virus. The highest number of death has occurred in USA along with the highest number of COVID-19 case. Europe and the United Kingdom could make it with much a less price, now is reeling under the second wave. The capitalist system reinforced in RussianFederation after the collapse of socialism, is also facing the same fate, while under the leadership of Lenin, the newly found socialist system could manage the pandemic, that befell the world, immediately after the October Revolution. The predicament of the capitalist world is because of the neo-liberal economic policy pursued by them and due to the so called globalization.
The pandemic shattered the whole supply chain and put pressure on world economy in such a way due to lock down, as other measures, that was already there has become unbearable. The economists said that the world is facing an unprecedented recession not seen even in the Great Depression of thirties. As to the UN estimate reflects that the world economy has squeezed so much that it would take them two decades to recover, if necessary measures are taken. There were jobs losses in every such country and the recovery that was made in recent time in poverty alleviation has come to a naught and a huge number of people of the world to go under poverty line. I can cite an example of our country, Bangladesh, where the number of people living under the poverty line came down to 21% in the last decade, the economists are apprehending that it would double even in a year. People have lost their jobs and 30% decrease has occurred in the income of the whole population except the fabulously rich, who amassed money even in this pandemic time.
The response of the health system of these countries were either non-concern like that of Donald Triumph or casual, not understanding the depth of the crises. USA claimed that it has one of the best health system and also lots of expertise in the field of research. But even USA had to borrow from outside sources the equipment for the health workers who were engaged to fight the virus in the frontline. We have seen pictures of nurses and health workersto wear shopping bags as protection from virus.
In Europe, Italy, has one of the best medical system, but a little socialist country like Cuba had to come to their aid. The most disciplined German was accused of self-preservation by its European Union allies and it has put great strain in the relations of the E.U.
The capitalist countries have also engaged themselves in ‘Vaccine Nationalism’, by putting up huge amount of money in upcoming vaccines and grab it all. The developing and the less developed countries would be deprived even though arrangements have been made through COVAX for supply of vaccines in these countries. But as the fact goes it would not cover more than 3% at the beginning and can reach 20% maximum in the years to come.
But on the other side Socialist system of China, from where the virus has spread, withstand the brunt in a most praisable way, but also despite its own difficulties has extended its helping hand to other. The Communist Party of China (CPC) under the able and determined leadership of Comrade Xi Jinping activated all tiers of the Government and the Party to pay attention to the spread of the virus, while Donald Trump phrasing it as ‘Chinese Virus’ giving it a political color to meet its own end and refused to wear a mask as insisted by WHO. The National Health Commission of China and other official bodies were instructed to initiate emergency response measures. Wuhan went into full lockdown on 23rd January, just 3-days after ‘human to human’ transmission of the virus was established and on the next day Hubei Province activated its Level-1 alert. Instead of appreciating Chinese efforts, the leading news outlets focused on the stray criticism within China, and amplifying it, arguing that how Chinese socialist system, which they call an authoritarian one, has miserably failed. In this regard I would like to draw your kind attention to the Press Conference of WHO, where Dr. Ryan has said, “Personally I think myself and the Director General have never seen the scale and commitment of an epidemic response at this level. …….The challenge is great, but the response has been massive and the Chinese government deserves huge credit for that response and for the transparency in which they have dealt with this.” And the fact lies there the Chinese Communist Party from the very beginning were very transparent regarding their activities in relation to the pandemic to the World Community, which helped the country like Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea and New Zealand to take necessary action instantaneously and arresting the pandemic to spread in their respective country. In this regard, I would like to draw your attention to findings of a group of scientists around the World on 31st March, from Oxford University to Beijing Normal University – published an important paper in Science Magazine – During the First 50 Days of the COVID – 19 Epidemic in China – proposes that if the Chinese Government had not initiated the lockdown of Wuhan and the national emergency response, then there would have been 744,000 additional confirmed COVID – 19 cases outside of Wuhan. ‘Control measures taken in China’, the authors argue, ‘potentially hold lessons for other countries around the world’.
During the 2nd World War as we do pay respect and recognize that Comrade J. V. Stalin, the Communist Party of Soviet Union and the Red Army played one of the most vital role in safeguarding the human civilization from the grasp of German Fascist Hitler, similarly we can say that the Chinese people, the Chinese Government, the Communist Party of China armed with Xi Jinping Thought under the able leadership of Comrade Xi Jinping has showed us the path of arresting the spread of COVID – 19 and thus again has saved the human species for the time being. Comrade Xi Jinping made it very much clear by his statement at the virtual event opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly on 18th May reiterated the significance of the World Health Organisation and the main theme of his speech was “Fighting COVID -19 through solidarity and cooperation building a global community of health for all” and he at first recognizes the role of the world community by stating “Confronted by the ravages of COVID-19, the international community has not flinched. The people of all countries have tackled the virus head on. Around the world, people have looked out for each other and pulled together as one. With love and compassion, we have forged extraordinary synergy in the fight against COVID – 19.” Not only that he also humbly stated that “We have released the genome sequence at the earliest possible time. We have shared control and treatment experience with the world without reservation. We have done everything in our power to support and assist countries in need. Comrade Xi Jinping, not only the leader of the Chinese people but has taken into consideration the world community and thus stated that, “We must always put the people first, for nothing in the world is more precious than people’s lives. We need to deploy medical expertise and critical supplies to places where they are needed the most. …………… China calls on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus.” At the end Comrade Xi Jinping gives his clarion call, “Let’s work together to safeguard planet Earth, our common home. Let’s work together to build a global community of health for all!”
Like China, the Vietnamese socialist system showed its resilience, within moments of finding of human transmission of corona virus. The Communist Party of Vietnam and the government took upon the challenge and set example in fighting the menace. Beside the health system, the economic strength and its focus on people centric activity, the Vietnamese people were led to fight COVID-19 in the bravest way.
And as we know, Cuba as usual extended its help to the developed country like Italy, sent volunteer doctors to Africa and contained the menace in its own country while countries like Brazil despite its big economy, not only failed its people, but also joined with US in the stigmatization campaign against China.
Even Kerala, run by Communist Party of India (M) distinguished itself while all the states of India are reeling under COVID-19.
“Workers of All Countries Unite” – Internationalism – the very essence of communism has been very much being reflected during the COVID – 19 Pandemic. Doctors from China, Cuba visited more than 50 countries of the world, sharing their experiences with the respective countries. A team of doctors from China visited Bangladesh and shared their experiences with the medical community of our country in combating COVID – 19. I would like to state that during this period all types of development work has been suspended with an exception in the case of the multi-purpose Padma Bridge is still going on. How was it possible? It was possible mainly due to the Chinese contractor working in this project carried on this work, since they understood the importance of this project to the national economy of our country. During the Chinese new year many of the Chinese Engineers and Workers visited their homeland China, but they returned in due time stayed in quarantine for 14 days in Bangladesh and then started their work. The work in this project didn’t stop for a single day. The Chinese Contractors and their Bangladeshi counterpart with due help from the government carried on their work and as a result it appears it is only this project will be finished in due time. All other projects where other foreign contractors were working have ceased to work and left Bangladesh, among them the modernization of Shah Jalal International Airport and the Metro rail project is to be mentioned (Both of these projects are being done by the Japanese). This reflects the responsibility of a socialist country and to that of a capitalist country. All these three projects are of great importance to the economy of Bangladesh and its completion would be a great help to the people of Bangladesh in general. It’s to be mentioned that the Padma Bridge construction project is being financed by Bangladesh itself, while the other two projects are foreign financed. It is to be further mentioned that it’s the Chinese Government has ensured that the Chinese Contractor will be working in such a manner that under no circumstances the health safety of the workers, working in the Padma Bridge Project is jeopardized.
Having gaining this experience, about the present situation, both capitalist and socialist it has now become imperative to go forward with the struggle for socialism. The Communist and Workers Parties of the world should come closer and act unitedly not only against the COVID-19 Pandemic for now only, but also for a shared prosperous fortune of mankind. All of us should work for peace, particularly peace in this area and should not go for any military option, which the US is trying to provoke.
In this time, we have seen the struggle of Black Lives Matter have rallied millions of American people, irrespective of black or white against racism in USA. It has not created this uproar in USA but in all the countries of the World. We are against the racist stigmatization of Trump Administration of USA against the black people of America, against the racist stigmatization of Bolsanro of Brazil against the indigenous people of Brazil and above all the conspiracies of the dying capitalist system headed by USA against China, so that the fight against COVID – 19 is not compromised and the shared future for mankind is not jeopardized.
It is a proven fact during COVID – 19, it is a socialist system and its development can enable a safe world. This system of socialism will have to be developed as to the characteristics and condition of the respective countries.
Rashed Khan Menon is the President of Workers Party of Bangladesh & Member of Parliament Bangladesh National Parliament.