Is it important where the novel coronavirus originated? Yes, but only because knowing its origin will help virologists know more about it and how it spreads and infects humans and thus help them find a way to prevent its transmission.
Smearing people, pointing accusing fingers at them and deliberately using geographic references in talking about the virus are politicizing an otherwise natural disaster. Rather than helping prevent the spread of the virus, doing so will only add to the difficulty in the control and prevention of the spread of the virus, which respects no borders.
Nor will conspiracy theories about where the virus comes from. Spreading rumors about how the virus was first transmitted to humans will do nothing to bolster global efforts to control its spread.
Solidarity and joint efforts within a single country and all over the world are crucial to effectively curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus. What China has achieved in its fight against the virus has verified the former. Global solidarity is imperative if the global battle against the pandemic is to be won.
The surge in verbal and even physical assaults on Asians in some European countries and the United States should serve as a reminder that there is a danger of such discrimination being stoked by the careless words of politicians when they talk about the virus.
It is good that US President Donald Trump said on Monday that it was important to protect the Asian-American community in the US.
It should be the bottom line for political leaders to not say or do anything that may fuel discrimination or xenophobia against any particular ethnicity or country.
The number of countries that have been devastated by the virus has increased to more than 180, and the death toll is rapidly rising in some countries. There is no sign that the pandemic will be brought under total control in the weeks or even months to come.
It is obvious that pointing accusing fingers at countries saying they should be held accountable for the rapid spread of the virus will not help the international community in its efforts to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
This pandemic should serve as a reminder that all countries are interconnected and the well-being of peoples of different countries is closely related. Solidarity and joint efforts by all countries are essential to thoroughly stop the spread of the virus. This should be the focus of political leaders worldwide.