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A common adversity

A common adversity

Now may not be the best of time to blame one another for the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that has gripped the world, bringing global affairs to a halt. China and the US indulging in an ugly spat over the outbreak is perhaps the last thing that the world needs. With the Coronavirus making severe impacts in some countries, what the global fraternity must be pursuing is an effective containment of the virus and expedited research to develop a cure at the earliest. WHO states that more than 4900 people have perished as the virus has infected a staggering 132,000 people across the globe. We cannot have the world's two superpowers blame each other for the disaster. If anything, we hope them to brush aside differences for once and join forces to synthesise a vaccine. When we put human reasoning at the heart of the matter, there does not exist scope for any infighting. The threat that we pose today in Coronavirus is against entire humanity. If at all there has to be deliberation on the mysterious outbreak, it can certainly wait till the immediate threat is dealt with. The US-China squabble will only delay the tranquillity that the world aspires for as it somehow combats the health emergency. When US National Security Advisor, Robert O'Brien criticised China for 'covering up' the Coronavirus outbreak, there was never going to be a timid response from China over such an allegation, even if it had any substance. Not surprisingly, a Chinese Foreign Ministery spokesperson soon responded shifting the blame of the outbreak on the United States, asserting that the latter's military had brought the virus to Wuhan. Again, unsubstantiated blame is nothing but a waste of time. Robert O'Brien concluded how the cover-up cost the global community two months to respond. A thorough retrospect might reveal some foul play at China's end. But given the priority of things at the moment, that retrospection has to wait. On the other hand, there exists dangerous allegations of China's suppression of the virus outbreak and even worse, their hand in developing it as a bioweapon. A haphazard response to US criticism does not help. What indeed helps is their effort to contain the virus with reports citing single-digit new cases in Wuhan for the first time since the outbreak in December. That builds confidence.

US criticism comes at a time when the country has seen a sudden spike in Coronavirus cases with the count surpassing 1600. In all maturity, the United States is better off containing the virus and overcoming the predicament to instil faith in the global order. Nearly half the countries of the globe already look up to the States as a prime candidate in developing a cure. But just as it is a beacon of hope, its unwarranted comments on Chinese hand in the ongoing adversity does not fit the situation. The Chinese economy is suffering. Their lowest economic growth in the first quarter of 2020 since Mao Zedong's cultural revolution points to their misery. In fact, a shutdown in China's manufacturing sector has been bad news for the US as well, amidst other nations. Markets have crashed across the globe. It easily projects the grim situation that the entire world is mired in. Nations have gone into self-lockdown in a bid to restrict the spread of the virus. At this hour, better display of leadership is expected from the two giants. The friction due to criticism will not yield any fruitful outcome. While we have recoveries exceeding new cases in South Korea, Italy's death toll exceeded 1,000 yesterday. If countries can script a path to absolute recovery, they should direct expertise and aid to those reeling under the unfortunate storm of Covid-19. It is not the time to discuss whose fault it is. It is time to build confidence and overcome a turbulent start to the new decade. While the virus restricts collaboration between nations to an extent, it certainly does not call for infighting.

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