BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Iran is willing to work together with China to combat the epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday.
He made the remarks in a phone conversation with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Zarif said it has been widely recognized by the international community that the Chinese government, in a responsible and transparent manner, has taken timely and resolute measures in fighting the epidemic, which has prevented not only a deterioration of the outbreak within China, but also its spread overseas.
Iran firmly opposes some Western countries' attempt to exploit the epidemic, and believes that the Chinese government and people will overcome the current difficulties, Zarif said.
He said Iran has provided China with a certain amount of urgently needed medical supplies, and stands ready to offer more assistance and work together with China to combat the epidemic.
For his part, Wang expressed thanks to Iran for supporting China in fighting the epidemic, hailing Zarif as the first foreign minister publicly voicing support for China, which has shown the Iranian people's friendliness towards the Chinese people.
Wang also thanked Iran for providing China with medical supplies at the critical moment of epidemic prevention and control.
China has established a nationwide system to fight the epidemic with the strictest and most thorough measures, Wang said, adding that with China's unremitting efforts, the fatality rate of the novel coronavirus nationwide has been controlled under 2.1 percent, far lower than the rate of any other epidemic in China, and also lower than the 17.4-percent fatality rate of the H1N1 influenza in the United States in 2009.
Starting from Feb. 1, the number of people discharged from hospital after recovery has started to significantly surpass the number of deaths, an important symbol showing the epidemic is controllable and curable, he said.
Wang said that China has full confidence and ability to win the fight against the epidemic.
In fighting the epidemic, China has been responsible not only for its own people, but also for the international community, he said.
So far, the number of confirmed cases reported overseas only accounts for less than 1 percent of the total number worldwide, while the H1N1 influenza originated from the United States had then spread to 214 countries and regions, he said.
After visiting China, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke highly of China's unprecedented measures taken in fighting the epidemic, saying that China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response, Wang noted, adding that the WHO disapproves of imposing travel or trade restrictions on China.
Wang said that while China understands the reasonable and necessary screening measures taken by some countries, it opposes overreactions and moves that will create panic.
He said that China will continue to share information with the world in an open and transparent manner, and strengthen cooperation with other countries, so as to jointly safeguard global and regional public health safety.