Pakistan has received tonnes of protective gear and testing kits from China to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The medical assistance from China comes at a critical time when Pakistan is struggling to contain the deadly virus as the number of confirmed cases surpassed 1,200 on Friday.
“At least 2 tonnes of masks, test kits, ventilators, medical protective clothes worth Rs67 million [Dh1.5 million) were handed over [to Pakistani officials] at Khunjerab Pass”, , according to a statement by Chinese embassy in Pakistan. “This is the friendship higher than mountains!” the embassy tweeted.
Medical supplies for protection against Coronavirus reach #Pakistan from #China https://t.co/mN76HuVKyW #SaluteToAllFrontliners #StayAtHomeSaveLives #StopTheSpreadOfCorona #Covid_19 #CoronaVirusPakistan pic.twitter.com/gb6RxHaF5l
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) March 27, 2020
On Friday morning, trucks full of medical supplies were unloaded at the border as the teams from both sides braved the harsh weather and snow. Meanwhile, a plane carrying 50,000 coronavirus testing kits also arrived in the port city of Karachi on March 27. This was the second bulk consignment sent by China’s Alibaba and Jack Ma Foundation within days. On March 25, the foundation sent 500,000 surgical masks and 50,000 N95 respirators to Pakistan. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Consul General of China Li Bijian and other officials received the supplies at Karachi airport.
On March 26, Yan Chen, managing director of Challenge Group of Companies from China called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to donate 15,000 protection suits for Pakistani doctors and paramedical staff on the frontline battling the pandemic. To meet the increasing demand for protective gear, China will help produce the protection suit in Pakistan’s city of Lahore, said the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing. Chinese government and leadership is committed to support Pakistan in combating Covid-19 as their top priority, the ambassador added.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister conveyed sincere gratitude to China for supporting Pakistan. “The medical equipment provided by China will greatly strengthen Pakistan’s capacity” to fight the virus, PM Imran Khan said.
Pakistan will receive around 20 tonnes of medical goods and 20 ventilators on an urgent basis from China this week, said Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lt. Gen. Mohammed Afzal, during March 27 media talk. Additionally, two more planes would bring 100 tonnes of urgently needed medical equipment from Beijing and Chengdu next week.
Following Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar’s request, a Chinese university has also agreed to work with Pakistani medical experts to convert a university campus into a 1,000-bed field hospital. The field hospital would be set up in Lahore. The University would also work in collaboration with Pakistani scientists to develop testing kits and other equipment in Pakistan.