By Liu Hongyang:
After the outbreak of Covid-19, China has been fighting it with all-out efforts. The most comprehensive, stringent and thorough measures taken have produced positive effects. The first case of Covid-19 was reported in China, the Chinese government took effective prevention and control measures rapidly, such as sealing off the city and building hospitals, and timely report to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other countries to earn time for the world.
At present, scientists all over the world are studying the origin of the virus. We should believe in science rather than slander and in evidence rather than rumours. China, with the vision of a responsible attitude towards global public health security and people’s well-being, has been reaching out to the affected countries to help them fight against the pandemic and get through this difficult time.
So far, the Chinese government has provided or is providing supplies to 127 countries and four international organisations, including surgical masks, protective gear and testing reagents and sent 17 medical teams to 15 countries to help them combat Covid-19.
The Chinese experts shared their experience with local medical workers, helped them improve their ability in prevention, containment, diagnosis and treatment in jointly overcoming the pandemic. Their efforts have been well recognised by the governments and people of these countries.
China has donated $20 million to the WHO’s international cooperation against Covid-19, especially to help countries with vulnerable public health systems to shore up lines of defence. Local governments in China have also donated supplies to foreign cities. The first batch of medical supplies donated by the Chinese government, including N95 masks, protective suits, thermometers, gloves and shoe covers has been delivered to Malawi, and the second batch is on the way.
Medical technological cooperation
China has held over 70 video conferences with experts from more than 150 countries and international organisations, including African countries and the African Union. Exchange through this mechanism has helped countries across the globe. Besides these conferences, China has also released the seventh version of its diagnosis and treatment and sixth of prevention and control protocols.
They are a collection of combat experience gathered over the course of more than two months. They represent the wisdom and hard work of tens of thousands of frontline medical personnel in China. With the protocols translated into many foreign languages, we are sharing them with WHO and the international community.
Chinese enterprises and civil groups in China have donated medical supplies to more than 100 countries, regions and international organisations. Take the Jack Ma Foundation as an example; it has provided supplies assistance to more than 150 countries. It just announced to donate 100 million masks, one million N95 masks and one million test kits to WHO.
By now, Jack Ma Foundation has donated two batches of medical supplies to Africa; the third batch of donation is ready for departure. All the three batches of supplies include 2.6 million swabs, extraction and test kits, 10.6 million masks, 460,000 protective suits and face shields, one million gloves, 4,000 thermometers, 800 ventilators and 100 body temperature scanners.
Among them, the first two batches of donation to Malawi, including 102,500 masks, 20,800 test kits, 18,900 swabs and extraction kits, 5,000 protective suits and face shields, five ventilators and 36 thermometers, have arrived and the third batch is on the way.
Meanwhile, the Chinese community in Malawi has donated 47,500 masks, 1,100 hand sanitisers, 1,500 gloves, 800 soaps and 11 thermometers to the Ministry of Health, city councils, Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service and the Immigration Department.
We will never forget the political support from the international community during our hardest times, as well as the medical supplies we received from almost 80 countries and 10 international organisations. It is China’s traditional virtue to repay goodwill with greater kindness.
Just as Russian President Putin said, “we sent two million masks to our Chinese friends in February, now we have received 150 million from China.” European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen also said that China has not forgotten about the EU’s help in January when the Asian country was at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.
Now Europe is the centre of the pandemic and in need of protective supplies, EU is grateful for China’s support. On April 6, the latest batch of medical supplies which includes test kits and masks donated by China to EU arrived in Italy. Besides, Italy, Pakistan and other countries tried their best to provide supplies assisting China in the beginning.
While these countries are suffering from the pandemic, China not only sent a large amount of supplies in return, but also sent several medical expert teams for helping them against Covid-19. Maurizio Massari, Italian permanent representative to EU, said that not a single EU country responded to Italian plea for help with coronavirus, and only China responded bilaterally.
For sure, some US localities and businesses extended a helping hand to China in our most difficult period in the very beginning and we would like to express our great gratitude to American people. However, US officials said on many occasions that they were going to offer $100 million to assist China and other countries impacted by the Covid-19, but we have not received any funds or supplies donated in the name of the US government by now.
Meanwhile, the US Agency for International Development once promised to provide medical supplies to China, but when they informed us that the supplies were ready in mid-March, the situation in China had been basically controlled. We thank the US side and hope they can deliver these supplies and $100 million now to countries in more urgent need considering the fast spreading of the pandemic around the world.
Now as the US is facing a severe situation domestically, many Chinese companies and localities have been offering assistance to the American people. The two peoples have shown mutual understanding and support in this joint fight against the pandemic. From March 1 to April 17, China has provided the US with 1.864 billion masks, 258 million gloves, 29.19 million protective suits, 3.13 million goggles, 500,000 test kits and 4,410 ventilators.
China is making such efforts to reciprocate the goodwill we received earlier during the pandemic, to act on international humanitarianism and to implement the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. We will never stand aloof and shun our friends when they are in trouble and we will never pick and choose nor attach any strings when extending a helping hand.
I want to stress again that the coronavirus knows no boundaries and is humanity’s common enemy. With our future linked together, countries can only overcome the challenge by standing in solidarity. China will stay committed to the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, work closely together with WHO and other countries to defeat the virus through mutual assistance, and contribute our wisdom, experience and prescription to the international community. We believe through solidarity, we will prevail.
*Liu Hongyang is Chinese Ambassador to Malawi
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