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More intervention from Chinese Government to fight Covid-19

June 10, 2020

Ambassador Hu Zhanliang doing a symbolic handing over to Brigadier Kellie Conteh

The Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone has yesterday handed over a batch of emergency aid supplies to the Sierra Leone Government through the Ministry of Defense.

The emergency aid supplies from the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China was handed over to the Defense at a ceremony held at the Joint Medical Unit, 34 Military Hospital.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang stated that, ‘‘It’s my great pleasure to attend the hand-over ceremony of the emergency aid for combating COVID-19 from the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Sierra Leone.’’

He disclosed that the Chinese Government donated items includes 50,000 disposable medical masks, 6000 surgical masks, 6,000 KN95 masks, 4200 medical goggles, 3000 protective face shields, 3000 protective clothings, 3000 gowns, 6000 boots covers, 50 boxes of disposable nitrile gloves , 30 infusion pumps, 2 knapsack disinfection sprayers, 50 forehead infrared thermometers, and 2 helmets for infrared thermal imaging temperature measurement.

‘‘The donation of these medical supplies exemplifies the cordial relations between China and Sierra Leone and the traditional friendship between our two armies. Throughout the past several decades, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been providing all kinds of support to the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, including personnel training, medical and healthcare assistance, utilities construction, equipment supply and technology transfer,’’ said Ambassador Hu.

He said one significant thing the two countries’ armies share in common is the love and responsibility for their people and motherland, adding that in China’s fight against COVID-19, the PLA has played an important role and made prominent contributions.

‘‘Here in Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Defense and the RSLAF are at the frontline, too, constituting the bulk of the EOC and National Response Structure. I believe the donation from the PLA will help enhance the RSLAF’s capability in fighting the pandemic in Sierra Leone under the staunch leadership of H.E. President Julius Maada Bio,’’ he said.

He echoed President Xi Jinping statement at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly on May 18, wherein he stated that: “what we are facing is the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II. The virus does not respect borders. Nor is race or nationality relevant in the face of the disease. Mankind is a community with a shared future. Solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon for defeating the virus.”

He said through painstaking efforts and enormous sacrifice, China has turned the tide on the virus and that in the meantime, China has done everything in its power to support and assist other countries in need, African countries in particular.

‘‘The donation by the PLA to friendly armies is part of China’s support to the international community in fighting the pandemic. Taking this donation into account, China has so far provided six rounds of medical supplies to Sierra Leone, and another round of Chinese government assistance will arrive soon. At the same time, the three Chinese medical teams in Sierra Leone have been working side by side with their Sierra Leonean counterparts in fighting COVID-19, including the Chinese Military Medical Expert Group in 34 Hospital,’’ the top Chinese diplomat in Sierra Leone continues.

He noted that despite the pandemic, China’s cooperation with Sierra Leone on key projects, such as the Myohaung Officers’ Mess and Single Officers’ Quarters is moving forward unabatedly.

‘‘It’s our sincere wish that China’s support will help consolidate the achievements you have acquired in the initial stages with commendable hard work.China will continue to stand side by side with Sierra Leone and the international community to achieve final victory over the pandemic. Let’s focus on doing the right thing for our peoples and the humankind and not be distracted by those who are bent on spreading rumors, smearing, stigmatization and blame games,’’ he said.

In his contribution, Minister of Defense, Retired Brigadier Kellie Conteh, recognised the gesture from the Chinese Government, stating that for over 50 years now the Chinese have been very helpful to Sierra Leone.

 He said during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, China was the first country that sent in medical supplies and dozens of health works to come to the aid of the country and fought the deadly virus.

He said when the Coronavirus surfaced in Sierra Leone, the Chinese were also the first to help the country with medical supplies.

He further disclosed that on 17th December, 2019, the Chinese Liberation Army signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, and that the Chinese Government has trained over 100 Sierra Leonean nurses in China.

He said the bilateral relationship between the two countries remains stronger, adding that they hope to see more assistance from the Chinese Government.

 He said the medical supplies would be of great help to Sierra Leone in the fight against Covid-19, thus saying thanks to the Chinese Government for empowering Sierra Leone in the fight against the pandemic.

‘‘A friend in need is a friend indeed and China has been a true friend to us. We are calling on friends of other government to come to our aid because those assistances will be of great help to us as a nation,’’ he said.

He called on the public to stop stigmatizing others in their various communities.

Commanding Officer at the Joint Medical Unit, Colonel Sliver Leigh, said the gesture was not new to them as they have received several supports from the Chinese Government.

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