Chinese aid helps Lankan virus fight

COLOMBO: China has stepped up its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and medical aid to Sri Lanka as the two countries battle the COVID-19 pandemic in recent weeks, strengthening the solidarity between the two countries, officials here said.
While Sri Lanka fights the virus outbreak that has seen over 180 confirmed cases and six deaths so far, the Chinese government as well as multiple Chinese companies, many of whom operate businesses and mega projects in Sri Lanka, have sent crucial aid.
On April 1, charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy Hu Wei handed over the first shipment of aid from China, including 50,000 medical masks and 1,008 COVID-19 test kits, to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe later expressed gratitude to China for the solidarity shown during Sri Lanka’s battle with COVID-19 and said that such donations were of crucial importance for the well being of front line healthcare workers.
Along with the Chinese government, many Chinese companies were also quick to respond to Sri Lanka’s fight against COVID-19 with crucial donations.
China Merchants Port Group (CMPort), the parent company of Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) and Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), donated 1,000 personal protective suits to the Sri Lankan government on March 25.
In a letter to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, CMPort CEO Dr. Bai Jingtao said that China would surely reciprocate the support that Sri Lanka showed to it when China fought the virus.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has donated a consignment of the country’s famous black tea to the Chinese Embassy.
HIPG, the company which operates Hambantota Port, supplied dry rations including milk powder, grains, potatoes and tinned fish to temples and households in the southern Hambantota District during a partial lockdown.
On April 5, CHEC Port City Colombo, the company behind the project to build a world class city on 269 hectares of land reclaimed from the sea, has donated masks and surgical gloves to Colombo’s Manning Wholesale Market. The donations help enhance health and safety precautions in one of the largest food trading markets in the country, an essential service during curfew.
The Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), which has built local infrastructure such as airport highways, donated healthcare equipment including protective masks and surgical gloves to the Sri Lankan Navy on April 2.
Navy Commander Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva expressed thanks to China for this donation as it would help Navy personnel in carrying out anti-COVID-19 tasks such as quarantining individuals and disinfecting public spaces.
– The Daily Mail-China Daily News exchange item