By YANG XIAORONG
Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading around the world. Madagascar and other African countries are facing severe challenges. China has just gone through the most difficult period in its fight against the pandemic, and is ready to work with Madagascar and other African countries to tide over their difficulties at this critical moment.
After the first case of infection was confirmed in Madagascar on March 20, the Madagascan government quickly declared a state of emergency, and took a series of measures such as suspending flights and shipping, locking down cities, canceling large gatherings, partially shutting down businesses and schools, limiting public transportation and introducing a curfew.
An old Chinese saying goes: A friend in need is a friend indeed. Madagascar also has a proverb: If the left hand is hurt, the right hand will comfort it. China and Madagascar are like left and right hands, being good friends, good partners and good brothers. In 2017, when the plague spread on a large scale in Madagascar, the Chinese government immediately provided humanitarian medical aid and dispatched disease control experts to provide emergency assistance.
At the height of the fight against the novel coronavirus in China, Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina and people from all walks of life in Madagascar sent letters of condolence to China, expressing their confidence in and support for China in its efforts to overcome the pandemic. Currently, the pandemic prevention work in Madagascar has entered a critical moment. China will not stand by and watch while our African brothers need us, and it is actively lending a helping hand to Madagascar.
China strongly supports Madagascar’s efforts to combat the pandemic and is providing support and assistance to Madagascar within its capacity through various channels. The Chinese embassy in Madagascar has maintained close communication and coordination with relevant departments of the local government, strengthened information exchanges, provided material assistance, carried out health cooperation and guided the Chinese citizens in Madagascar to do their own pandemic prevention. China also attaches great importance to protecting the health and safety of the Madagascan nationals in China, especially overseas students, and will do its utmost to help them as if they were our own children.
Madagascar and other African countries hope to enhance exchanges with China on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. China promptly organized a videoconference between its disease control experts and their counterparts from African countries, and first-line medical experts from Madagascar also participated in the videoconference to share their experience in prevention and treatment.
A Chinese medical team from Gansu province is working side by side with local medical staff to treat patients and support their fight against the pandemic in Madagascar. There is a fine tradition of medical cooperation between China and Madagascar. Over the past 45 years, Chinese medical team members have carried forward the international humanitarian spirit, helped the wounded and saved the dying, and made selfless contributions, which has been praised by the local government and people.
Chinese enterprises and overseas Chinese people are also taking actions to provide assistance. Two batches of pandemic prevention materials donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation, including ventilators, surgical masks, protective suits and test reagents, were sent to Madagascar. The Madagascan president, health minister and foreign minister received the materials in person at the airport and expressed their appreciation for China’s timely help.
Overseas Chinese communities in Madagascar have donated medical and livelihood supplies to the local government, hospitals and public welfare organizations. They say Madagascar is their second home and everyone has the responsibility to protect it against the pandemic. The anti-pandemic headquarters of Madagascar sincerely thanked them for their support and help. They have been deeply moved by the help of the overseas Chinese, which reflects the profound friendship of the two countries.
Despite its own arduous task of pandemic prevention, China has provided support and assistance to Madagascar, with the aim of overcoming the pandemic at an early date through joint efforts. Today’s world is a community with a shared future for mankind, where we all live in the same global village. In the face of the virus as a common enemy, only unity and cooperation is the best way to overcome the pandemic.
–The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item