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China welcomes support from BRICS to its efforts to combat coronavirus

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

China on Wednesday welcomed the support extended by the BRICS countries in its efforts to combat the deadly coronavirus epidemic that has brought the country to a virtual standstill, describing it as an epitome of the support Beijing has received from the international community.

The death toll in China's novel coronavirus outbreak has gone up to 1,113 with 97 new fatalities reported mostly in the worst-affected Hubei province while the confirmed cases of infection jumped to 44,653, health officials said on Wednesday.

Russia, the current chairman of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) on Wednesday issued a statement extending support of the BRICS group to the firm commitment and decisive efforts of the Chinese government to combat the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic.

"The BRICS countries are ready to cooperate closely with China and call for the international community to strengthen cooperation within the framework of the World Health Organisation in order to prevent, protect and control regional and global public health safety, providing a coordinated public health response to the epidemic outbreak," state-run Xinhua agency quoted a statement from BRICS Chairman Russia as saying.

"The BRICS countries commit to work together in a spirit of responsibility, solidarity and cooperation to bring this outbreak under control as fast as possible. They underline the importance of avoiding discrimination, stigma and overreaction while responding to the outbreak," it said.

In the statement, Russia also said that they support strengthening of scientific research cooperation on infectious diseases that pose threat to public health," it added.

China welcomed the move, saying the statement delivers positive and constructive messages.

"They are also important partners for China. This statement delivers positive and constructive messages, voices support for China's efforts and calls for greater international cooperation in safeguarding public health security," Geng Shuang, the spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, said in an online media briefing here.

"At this critical stage, the statement demonstrates the BRICS spirit of helping each other during difficult times. It is also an epitome of the support China has received from the international community. We highly appreciate it," he said.

"We will continue to work with the international community including the BRICS countries to combat the epidemic and safeguard regional and global public health security," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 12 2020. 17:14 IST