MANILA: China is donating more medical equipment and supplies to help the Philippines contain the spread of COVID-19 and speed up the country’s recovery from the highly infectious disease.
The new batches of emergency medical supplies to the Philippines include 100 ventilators, 150,000 testing kits, 70,000 medical protective suits, 70,000 N95 medical masks, 1.3 million surgical mask and 70,000 medical protective goggles.
“Two chartered cargo planes have delivered 150,000 testing kits and 18,000 medical protective suits (over the weekend). Other supplies are expected to arrive in Manila soon,” the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement on Sunday.
In a ceremony at the Department of Foreign Affairs headquarters, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian handed over the donations to Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin and Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the Philippine government’s action plan to combat COVID-19.
“We are committed to forging a new type of partnership, which sets a very good example for the international anti-pandemic cooperation,” Huang said in a speech at the ceremony.
“We will, as always, stand together with the Philippine government and people to jointly overcome the pandemic till the day of a final victory,” he added.
The ambassador said China appreciates “the valuable support and assistance” of the Philippines during the difficult times when China was grappling with the COVID-19 outbreak itself.
“To reciprocate the Philippines’ help and demonstrate our unity and partnership, China has been providing support and assistance to the Philippines to the best of its ability ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Philippines in early March,” Huang said.
The embassy has also closely coordinated with relevant Chinese agencies to facilitate the Philippine military aircraft and Navy vessel’s trip to China to bring back the purchased supplies.
“China will continue to do its best to provide support and assistance to help the Philippines flatten and bring down the COVID-19 curve as soon as possible, so as to pave the way for the early resumption of work and production as well as the normalcy of the livelihood of the people,” Huang added.
The ambassador emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge. “Virus respects no borders or races,” Huang said, noting that the world is a community with a shared future in the face of the pandemic.
“China firmly opposes politicizing public health issue by stigmatizing and sticking the virus label on a specific country or region. Such words and deeds will not only seriously undermine the efforts of international cooperation to fight the pandemic, but also sow the seeds of suspicion and even confrontation,” he said.
Locsin said all the countries affected by COVID-19 need to get together and stop pointing fingers. Instead, he added countries should continue to work hard together to find effective ways to defeat the virus and overcome the pandemic as soon as possible.
The Philippines on Saturday launched a COVID-19 testing lab that China’s biotech company BGI helped set up in San Fernando City, north of Manila, to ramp up the governments’ testing capacity to 10,000 tests a day, up from the country’s current daily capacity of around 7,000 tests.
The Philippines has so far reported 10,794 coronavirus infections, including 719 deaths.