China Praised By Germany For Transparency in Combating Virus

Arne Delfs and Francine Lacqua

(Bloomberg) -- China is doing a better job and the world community is more prepared in dealing with the new coronavirus than they were during the 2002 to 2003 SARS episode, Germany’s health minister said in an interview.

“There’s a big difference to SARS. We have a much more transparent China,” Jens Spahn told Bloomberg TV on Friday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. “The action of China is much more effective in the first days already.”

The World Health Organization on Thursday stopped short of calling the new SARS-like virus from central China a global health emergency.

Chinese official have imposed travel restrictions on millions of people as Singapore reported a case of the new virus.

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Global health authorities are also better prepared today, said Spahn.

“We learned a lot because of SARS. The WTO has reformed, developed permanent institutions of exchange,” the 39-year-old former under-secretary of finance said. “We know what do. That’s an important signal for people back home too.”

G20 health ministers have been rehearsing for emergencies since SARS and Ebola, he added.

“Our national health systems in Europe and in the U.S., by the way in many western countries -- we are able to deal with this. As soon as somebody is found with this infection, he’ll be put in an isolated station,” said Spahn.

The virus is believed to have emerged last month in a seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan, spreading from infected animals to humans.

To contact the reporters on this story: Arne Delfs in Berlin at adelfs@bloomberg.net;Francine Lacqua in Davos, Switzerland at flacqua@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Raymond Colitt, Andrew Blackman

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