Dear Colleagues,

As reported widely, coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading in China and in some other countries, and it may possibly even be poised to become a global pandemic. The virus not only endangers human life, but also seriously affects our life support systems, economic, social cultural and other activities unless effective measures are taken. The situation is particularly acute in China where the disease started and is disrupting normal operations in that country. The message below, which has been sent from the Geographical Society of China to the IGU, tells how geographers, along with others, in China are striving to counter the disease, and stresses the need for us to strengthen international cooperation in controlling the epidemic and protecting lives and health of the people. The IGU community offers its support to our Chinese colleagues at this very difficult time and fervently hopes that their sterling efforts to contain the outbreak prove successful. On behalf of the IGU Executive Committee, I would like to thank Professor Fahu Chen, GSC President, and Professor Guoyou Zhang, GSC Vice President & Secretary General, for their timely message to the IGU. Let us join together and do what we can to combat the outbreak of COVID-19.

With Best Regards,

Yukio Himiyama, IGU President
Dear Professor Yukio Himiyama, President of the International Geographical Union, (cc Professor R.B. Singh, Secretary-General of the International Geographical Union)

Greetings!

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese government has taken the most comprehensive, strict and thorough prevention and control measures to fight against this epidemic. WHO officials and many other government and healthcare officials across the globe are applauding China’s unprecedented and aggressive response, which shows that China is highly responsible, not only for the Chinese people’s health but also for the sake of global public safety.

At this critical moment, Chinese government is making all efforts in medical treatment of the patients for reducing severe and fatal cases. A national expert group has been assigned to speed up the research and development of vaccines. In tackling the outbreak, the State Council of China has established a centralized dispatch system for the distribution of medical personnel, medical supplies and citizen’s daily necessities. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and Chinese government, the prevention and control work has achieved positive results and the epidemic situation has shown positive changes due to concerted hard work. We have full confidence in our ability to prevail over the epidemic at an early date.

The fearless and selfless Chinese scientists, doctors and nurses are the mainstay in this battle, making strenuous efforts to counter the epidemic. GSC is working closely with its members, branch societies and partners by mobilizing scientists and professionals with expertise on scientific research, policy-making and science communication in the epidemic control. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, GSC has actively coordinated all resources available to fight against the disease through expanding scientific knowledge, analyzing and predicting epidemic trends, providing advices to the government and public on measures to protect health and prevent and control the spread of the virus and so on.

Virus knows of no national boundaries, but the worst of times reveals the best in people. Stronger international cooperation is needed to jointly tackle this challenge. In defeating the epidemic, we would like to remain in close communication and coordination with International Geographical Union and will be open to any suggestions from you. We would also like to strengthen cooperation in epidemic control to jointly protect lives and health of our peoples and uphold global public health security.

Sincerely yours,

Professor Fahu Chen
President
Geographical Society of China

Professor Guoyou Zhang
Vice President & Secretary General
Geographical Society of China

Geographical Society of China
11A, Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, P.R. China
8610-64889598, 8610-64870663
gsc@igsnrr.ac.cn
www.gsc.org.cn