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Don’t need to panic over coronavirus, situation not on UNSC agenda for March: China’s UN envoy

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United Nations, Mar 3: China’s UN Ambassador has said there is no need to panic over the coronavirus epidemic and that Beijing does not plan to discuss the situation in the Security Council during its Presidency this month.

China assumed the Presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of March and Beijing’s UN envoy Zhang Jun told reporters Monday that there was no plan to have a “specific discussion” on COVID-19.

“With regard to the Security Council, at this moment, is the general feeling of member states, while we watch closely the situation, especially the new development, we do not need to go panicky about that epidemic,” Zhang said during a press conference on the occasion of China assuming Presidency of the Council.

According to the Chinese health officials on Monday, as many as 2,912 people have died of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Responding to a question on whether China plans to discuss the coronavirus emergency in the Security Council during its presidency of the 15-nation Council, Zhang said the issue of the coronavirus falls within the concept of global public health while the Security Council’s primary responsibility is dealing with the geo-political security and peace matters.

“So, the public health security issue is not in the scope of the mandate of the Security Council in a narrow concept. But what we do think is important, is that the Security Council will also watch the situation very closely. At this moment, we do not have any plan to have a specific discussion on this issue,” Zhang said.

He said China’s fight against the coronavirus is making huge progress and the situation is becoming stable and getting better.

“Faced with such a severe challenge, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping we have taken unprecedented efforts and measures,” which have been most comprehensive and strict.

He added that while China is working very hard in combating the virus, the country has adopted a very responsible and constructive approach in its cooperation with other countries.

“We know that (in) other countries, we do have some new development. We do hope that what we are doing in China or what we have done in China will be able to help other countries,” he said.

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