(Image source from: euractiv.com)
With the current coronavirus pandemic in the world, it is not unlikely that the situation of Italy has been one of the worst in the entirety of the world. The country has the highest number of deaths reported with the third highest number of confirmed cases after United States and Spain.
During the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in China, Italy donated PPE kits to China to help them battle the disease. But, now when Italy deserves the favour returned, China wants Italy to buy the PPE kits from them instead of donating them, as reported suggested priorly.
The novel coronavirus, which originated in the Wuhan province in China travelled down to Italy with the passengers and wreaked havoc on the citizens, making it the epicentre of the disease in Europe. The hospitals were overrun and the doctors and frontline workers didn’t have enough supplies and protective gear to keep themselves safe from the virus.
Within a matter of a week or two, Italy reported over 15,000 deaths. In an attempt to bring back their image as a humanitarian country, China was reported to have been donating PPE kits to Italy to help the frontline healthcare providers to fight this deadly disease.
But, in a magazine article later, it was revealed that the same reports were untrue and that Beijing has been selling the PPE kits to Italy and not donating them, as it was said before.
In the Spectator magazine, a senior Trump official was quoted who stated saying, “China forced Italy to buy back the PPE supply that it gave to China during the initial coronavirus outbreak.”
It further reported that China has sent some of the PPE kits back to Italy, not even all of it and even charged for the same.
These reports about the diplomacy of the Chinese government are not something new at all and their acts during the time of the outbreak have been very slippery indeed.
Majority of the testing kits and the other gears that China has sold to other countries have turned out to be faulty, which again is a shameful act at this point. Live example of the same is Spain, which had to return over 50,000 testing kits after finding that they were faulty.
In such serious instances when China should have stepped up and apologised for these faulty equipments, they have gone behind and blamed others for the same.
Even Netherlands, when they reported about the faulty masks sent to them, China reverted saying that they should read the instructions mentioned on the back of the masks to ensure better fit.
Covering all these chaos, a senior official stated saying, “It's so disingenuous for Chinese officials now to say we are the ones who are helping the Italians or we are the ones who are helping the developing world when, in fact, they are the ones who infected all of us.”
They further stated that it is China’s duty to help the countries that are the worst affected with the virus that primarily generated and spread in their country. They are obliged to help the rest of the world in this time of crisis when they specifically failed to give the required information about the virus when it started spreading.
It is believed that China’s disinformation campaign about the spread of the virus is the primary reason why there has been a delayed response from the other countries, leading to worse condition.
As China downplayed the impacts of this virus on their country, over half a million people had already travelled to the United States, which has now the maximum number of confirmed cases across the world.
Reports suggest that China has still been hiding and concealing the accurate figures in the mainland. The country has reported no new deaths, which has been offsetting for a few administrative officials to believe.
By Somapika Dutta