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As gov’t announces re-opening of schools…

China to airlift 5,000 thermometers

January 23, 2015  By Alusine Sesay

The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone yesterday revealed that his government would on 30 January airlift 5,000 thermometers to aid the government of Sierra Leone re-open schools across the country.

Ambassador Zhao Yanbo made this disclosure at the donation ceremony of 60,000 sets of medical personal protective equipment and 40,000 sets of community personnel protective equipment which arrived in Sierra Leone aboard a charted cargo plane on 14 January.

The Chinese diplomat said the donation represents the true friendship that exists between the two countries and expressed optimism that the Ebola outbreak will soon be contained, while Sierra Leone will forge ahead with its development strides.

He expressed hope that the equipment would help strengthen capacity in the health sector, especially in the treatment and prevention of the Ebola virus disease.

Ambassador Yanbo further announced that his government will  by  early March ship 1,000 hospital beds, 40 ambulances, 10 pick-up trucks, 30 motorbikes, 10 incinerators, 40,000 bottles of hand-washing disinfectant, 500 sets of medical staff  health care products, and 500 sets of community personnel healthcare products into Sierra Leone.

“The materials represent a support from China and its people, a great passion for the people of Sierra Leone and very good and dynamic relationship. We would like to deepen and promote the relationship that would benefit our people,” he said. “As a true friend of Sierra Leone, we tried to help from our heart, feeling and action.”

The envoy noted that Sierra Leone has a very good weather with the potential to develop, noting: “We will continue our support and stand by you to fight Ebola and construct the economy. We will win if we stand together.”

In her brief statement, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Ebun Strasser-King, noted that since the start of the Ebola outbreak in May last year, China has stood with Sierra Leone in solidarity to fight the scourge.

She thanked the government and people of China for what she described as their awesome assistance in the fight against Ebola, noting that “China has gone beyond the bound of friendship but proven to be brother to Sierra Leone”.

Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, recalled that China was the first to respond to the call of President Ernest Bair Koroma for international help, adding that the donation was very symbolic especially when other partners are stepping down from supporting Sierra Leone in the fight against Ebola.

Despite the reduction in new infection in recent days, he said the Chinese government is of the philosophy that there is still more to be done, especially as the Ebola outbreak started with a single case and has since infected over 7,000, with more than 2,000 deaths.

He expressed thanks and appreciation for the support given by the Chinese government and its people.

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