Covid-19 Success Stories Shared at Journalist Conference

HANOI:  Many success stories in the fight against coronavirus were shared on the second day of the World Journalists Conference 2020 held on September 14-16.

While many areas in the world are still struggling to curb the virus spread which resulted in the three-day conference being held online for the first time in eight years, early victories in some countries have brought hope and provided models in mitigating the virus.

Nearly 100 journalists and experts join the online conference.

Sharing about the success story of South Korea, Hye-Gul HONG, a former medical reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo Korea and current CEO of YouTube Medical Channel After the Rain, said that despite the possibility of a second wave, South Korea is generally regarded as one of the countries that successfully contained coronavirus.

“As of September 1, 2020, the number of confirmed cases was 19,974 and the number of deaths stood at 324 out of 51.6 million people. It is one of the countries with the lowest incidence and fatality rate,” he said.

The South Korean reporter mentioned three reasons that have brought them that success.

“First, people are used to wearing masks. Secondly, it is the commitment of health care providers. Lastly, was the leadership of the South Korean CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).”

With Vietnam also gaining a reputation in fighting coronavirus, Lan Cu, Deputy Head of the World News Desk at Dan Tri Online Newspaper explained the three main factors that contributed to the country’s success, which include tight preventive measures, full mobilisation and committed media.

A section of the WJC 2020 participants (Picture by Sang-ki Lee)

“Learning invaluable lessons from the hard experiences of the SARS epidemic outbreak in 2003, Vietnam was determined to carry out strict preventive measures since the epidemic was first reported in neighbouring China late last year,” she told the conference.

“As coronavirus is called an enemy in Vietnam, many forces have been mobilised for the virus prevention work, mainly the military staff who help in setting up check-points at border gates, building makeshift hospitals, and operating quarantine areas. Meanwhile, local media agencies have also played an important role in fighting fake news, explaining the true situation and gathering support from the public in the struggle.”

Lan also gave some update figures on the Covid-19 situation in Vietnam with 1,063 infections including 931 recoveries and 35 deaths.

“As of September 15, we have gone two weeks without confirming any locally-transmitted cases and people now can enjoy a normal life again with schools, markets, bars and clubs all resumed operation,” she said.

Georgia has another success story which was shared by Khatuna Chapichadze from Georgian Technical University.

She said that as of August 31, 2020, there were only 1,487 confirmed Coronavirus cases in the country including 1,240 recoveries and 19 deaths.

“Georgia, being considered as one of the most successful examples of fighting against COVID-19 through employing complex disease control methods and preventive approaches, administered by the healthcare professionals, and the political leadership itself, lifted the state of emergency as of May 23, with the government gradually easing other internal restrictions on movement, commerce, and gatherings since then,” she said.

Moscatello Antonio, a journalist from Italy, a country that was hard affected by Covid-19 in the first half of 2020, also believed that they will do better with the second wave hitting Europe.

“It is crucial for the country to understand the mistakes made during the first wave,” he said. “There was a lack of promptness and blatantly weak co-ordination among the decision-makers. On the other hand, Italian people showed responsibility and Italian medical class a strong commitment. This was the highlight of Italian efforts against Covid-19.”

Besides the global responses to covid-19 theme, the three-day conference organised by the Journalists Association of Korea (JAK) also discussed fake news and the future of journalism and the 70th anniversary of the Korean War and peace in the Korean Peninsula.

By: Lan Cu

Can be read also at The Asian

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