Kathmandu, Apr. 4: As the COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the globe, it constitutes the most urgent and serious challenge to both the health of the humanity and world peace and development. Faced with this unprecedented situation, the major political parties of various countries tasked with the weighty responsibility of improving people’s wellbeing, promoting national development and safeguarding world peace and stability have made various appeals. Issuing a joint open letter from the world political parties concerning closer international cooperation against COVID-19 issued various appeals. The open letter stated the world political parties paid their loftiest tribute to all the people, health workers in particular, who devote themselves to saving lives and protecting people’s health. They extend their heartfelt sympathies and solicitude to those who are suffering from pain and whose lives are under the threat of COVID-19 as well as the bereaved families of those deceased. The letter further added that they also expressed their deep mourning for the unfortunate loss of lives in the outbreak. “We recognise that if the COVID-19 outbreak is not effectively and promptly contained, it will inflict even greater harm to the lives, safety and health of many more people, and exert a severe impact on the economic and social development of most countries as well as on international exchanges and cooperation,” the letter added. They further called on all countries to put the lives, safety and health of the people above everything else and take resolute and forceful measures to put an end to the spread of COVID-19. They said they support countries to put in place contingency plans and strategies for combating COVID-19 in light of their specific national conditions and to strengthen cooperation, with equal emphasis on containing the further spread and on patient treatment. The world political parties have stressed to encourage all countries, while devoting efforts to epidemic control, to adopt an integrated approach to ensure economic and social development, take targeted measures to protect vulnerable groups and the SMEs, and honour their commitment to people’s living standards and social progress. They also called on all countries to step up the international coordination of macroeconomic policies to maintain stability of global financial market as well as that of industrial and supply chains, and to reduce or exempt tariffs for trade facilitation so as to prevent world economic recession. The virus respects no borders, and no country can respond to the challenges alone in the face of the outbreak. Countries must enhance their consciousness of a community with a shared future for mankind, proactively rendering mutual help and support to one another as the situation becomes more difficult, the letter further stated. The world political parties also take note of the significant progress in the fight against COVID-19 in China and some other countries, which has bought time and offered experience to the rest of the international community. They have also called for science-based professional discussions on issues like prevention measures and the origin of the virus and oppose the politicisation of public health issues and the stigmatisation of other countries under the excuse of COVID-19. “As major political parties from countries of the world, we undertake to maintain close communication under the unusual circumstances, and ensure better performance of the due role of political guidance for the purpose of injecting political energy into the global fight against COVID-19,” the letter read.