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6 Feb, 2020 14:35

Russia praises China for transparent coronavirus updates

Russia praises China for transparent coronavirus updates

Moscow welcomes the prompt and transparent information exchange with China on the new coronavirus outbreak, said Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, Aleksey Volin.

“China is providing transparent updates on developments around the new coronavirus outbreak. Every day they report the number of new cases, deaths and recoveries, detailing their steps to fight the epidemic. There is enough information to gauge the real picture,” Volin said in an interview to Russia-China: Top News

Volin stressed that the transparency and verifiability of the coronavirus-related updates is being ensured, not only through government channels, but also via the Chinese media, which put the outbreak-related measures under public scrutiny. For example, China Media Group’s Yangshipin multimedia platform offers round-the-clock livestreams of the deployment of mobile hospitals in Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak. It’s not just a live broadcast: anyone, Chinese national or not, can comment on it. Many of these online supervisors are qualified engineers and healthcare professionals giving advice that helps to boost construction efficiency.

“We believe this approach is extremely efficient as it ensures a broader involvement of the public in the country’s management. Russia has also started offering livestreams of the deployment of public interest facilities,” Volin said.

The Yangshipin platform has already broadcast a round-the-clock livestream from construction sites of two specialized hospitals for those infected with the new coronavirus. The term ‘online supervisors’ was coined in China for the most active platform users. Their numbers were growing progressively each day, starting from 30 million on Day 1, to 50 million the next day, to 80 million the day after. Not only did they offer advice, but they also supported construction workers any way they could. Some wrote poems and created fanfiction, while others ordered takeout meals and safety masks for them.

The fist specialized hospital, codenamed Loki and with 1,000 beds, was unveiled on February 2. The second, 1,500-bed clinic, Thor, was finished on February 5. Construction workers admitted that the help from those online supervisors played a major role in boosting construction efficiency, since they managed to finish construction in 10 days.

The Yangshipin platform currently offers livestreams of the deployment of mobile hospitals in Wuhan. They are set up in the stadiums and exhibition centers. These makeshift medical facilities will treat patients in 'non-critical' condition. A total of more than 10 similar centers are planned to be put into operation, with tens of thousands of beds for those infected with the new coronavirus. The number of online supervisors has reached 100 million. The interactive livestream of the operations has been dubbed China's biggest blockbuster of 2020.

Observers have praised the unprecedented pace of response by the Chinese authorities to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. Many foreign media have coined the term 'Chinese speed', referring to China's actions to contain the epidemic, including rapid hospital construction and timely updates on the situation on the ground.

By Konstantin Shchepin