First, I'd like to share with you some figures from the National Health Commission (NHC). Between 00:00 and 24:00, February 12, altogether 1,171 cured and discharged cases were reported in China's mainland. As of 24:00 February 12, a total of 5,911 people have been cured and discharged from hospital in China's mainland.
Between 00:00 and 24:00, February 12, there were 312 newly reported confirmed cases in China (excluding Hubei Province), marking the ninth day of declining.
Q: Can you please update us on the infected foreigners in China- how many are there in total, how many are in Wuhan and what is their condition?
A: After checking with the competent authorities, the number of confirmed cases of foreign nationals in China stays the same, while that of cured and discharged cases has risen from 7 to 8.
Q: Recently a flash mob hugged Chinese in Naples, Italy to call for no discrimination. Those young men and women were joined by a lot of people there. There was also a Japanese girl wearing cheongsam on a Tokyo street, calling on people to donate for Wuhan and saying "What's horrible is the virus, not China." We found videos of them on social networks which have a huge number of online viewers. I was wondering if you watched them and how do you see such words and deeds by foreign nationals especially the youth?
A: My colleagues and I watched the videos you mentioned and others, including the ones where British high school students sang the Chinese song of Fill the World with Love, young men and women in Germany chanted "I am China" to encourage global efforts in fighting the virus, and Ethiopian students called "Stay strong, China" in Chinese.
We give "thumbs up" to these heartwarming videos. We commend and thank all those people across the world - especially the youth - for the integrity, kindness, courage and compassion that they demonstrate in their voluntary acts.
The UN Secretary General, WHO Director-General and many high-level officials of international institutions and foreign governments have openly called for no discrimination, no stigmatization and no overreaction recently.
People in many countries, particularly the young people, are taking real actions to endorse conscience and justice, reject prejudice and injustice, and pass on confidence and strength. They have given the Chinese people moral and spiritual support.
Ruthless virus brings out warmth in humanity, and true friendship stands the test of adversity. We believe sincerity and kindness will overcome estrangement, while care and compassion will not be shadowed by panic and fear. With the understanding and support from the international community, the Chinese people will surely defeat the epidemic in the end.
Let us stay strong!
Q: Is the new methodology used by Hubei in determining confirmed cases today approved by the WHO?
A: I'll leave that to the competent authorities.
Q: Taiwan CDC has banned those who are not residents of the Taiwan region from entering Taiwan while those who are there can apply to extend their stay for 15 days each time. Can the foreign ministry comment on this? How many such individuals are affected?
A: Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the National Health Commission, attaching high importance to Taiwan compatriots' safety and health, has kept the region informed with timely updates with a view to strengthening cross-strait response to the epidemic. As we understand, the mainland and the Taiwan region have been in communication on it.
I refer you to the competent authorities for the details you are interested in.
Q: Regarding the Chinese spouses of stranded foreign nationals in Wuhan. The foreign ministry said that they were allowed to leave Wuhan. I'd like to confirm that, for those Chinese nationals who are not the spouses of foreigners but have permanent residency in Japan or other countries, are they allowed to leave Wuhan? If not, why?
A: What I can tell you is that for Chinese nationals who are lineal relatives of foreign citizens in Wuhan, in light of their family ties, if they want to leave, they can leave with their families by air.
I have nothing further at hand at the moment.
Q: We only know by now about new confirmed cases in Hubei. Are you releasing information for the other provinces soon?
A: I'd refer you to the authoritative update from the competent department.
Q: First, will Hubei's new counting methodology of confirmed cases be implemented in the rest of the country? Second, is the WHO advance mission in Wuhan now or visiting Wuhan soon? Third, if medical facilities in Hubei continue to be overwhelmed, is it possible that confirmed COVID-19 cases from Hubei could be sent to hospitals in other provinces for treatment?
A: On your first question, I'll leave that to the competent authorities.
On your second question, as I know, the Chinese side is discussing the specific arrangements on the China-WHO joint mission with the WHO advance team. I'd refer you to them for the details.
On your third question, I'll still leave that to the competent authorities.
Q: Regarding the WHO advance team, what's the purpose of the visit? What do both sides hope to see accomplished? And how long will the team be in China?
A: The advance team is here to discuss specific arrangements for the China-WHO joint mission with the Chinese side. The purpose of the joint mission is that experts of both sides can have in-depth communication on the situation and efforts of prevention and control, and come up with advice for China and other affected countries.
I'll leave the specifics to the competent authorities.