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China donates medical supplies to SA

15 April 2020

China has been at the forefront of deploying mass medical aid to the world to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. On 14 April 2020 Chargẽd’Affaires, Mr Li Nan from the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria handed over a consignment of medical supplies to Dr  Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Health of South Africa. This donation comprised of 11,000 N95 masks, 50,000 surgical disposable masks, 2,000 medical protective gowns, 500 infrared thermometers, 3,000 medical goggles, 10,000 disposable surgical gloves,11,000 medical shoe covers, 3,000 medical protective goggles,11,000 disposable gloves and 500 infrared thermometers.

Minister Pandor expressed her appreciation to the Peoples Republic of China for their generosity and also thanked other Chinese institutions and companies which have also contributed medical supplies to South Africa. Most of these medical supplies are currently being assembled in Shanghai for collection by a chartered South African aircraft.

Minister Pandor reflected on the deep relations between China and South Africa and the many interactions between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 1 January 1998.

China is deeply committed to Africa said Minister Pandor. “One of South Africa’s foreign policy objectives is to promote the objectives of Agenda 2063, of the African Union, in the promotion of the economic development of the African continent. China has declared its support for Agenda 2063, through its African initiative, the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). This deep commitment to Africa was reflected in assistance that was provided in addressing another medical emergency, namely the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, in 2014. China took decisive action and initiated multiple rounds of aid, which led to the largest and longest humanitarian and health aid initiative in China’s history. By the first half of 2015, China’s fight against Ebola in Africa had manifested itself in the principles of ‘sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith’ that guide China’s policy on Africa and China’s view on global responsibility and security.”

Chargẽd’Affaires, Mr Li Nan said that despite the continuous fight against the pandemic in China, it has mobilised resources and coordinated efforts across the spectrum to provide support to South Africa and other African countries through both governmental and non-governmental channels. This, said Nan, is the second batch of medical assistance provided by China with a third and larger shipment under preparation.

Nan applauded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership in this unprecedented time and so far the measures implemented have managed to contain the spread as compared to other countries.

A statement released earlier this week by the Chinese Embassy regarding the discrimination against Africans in Guangdong Province, rejects this stating that the Chinese government’s position is firm, clear and consistent that all foreign nationals in China are treated  equally. Even though China has preliminarily put COVID-19 under control, the epidemic is not completely over yet. Countries all over the world, including South Africa, are taking compulsory measures to contain the pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus. China is of no exception. The statement said that China is seeing imported cases and domestic resurgence of local cases. To curb further spread the Guangzhou Municipality Government has issued regulations that all nationals, including Chinese nationals and foreign nationals, upon their entry to China, should be quarantined for 14 days and it says there was misunderstanding and miscommunication around this implementation which has subsequently been resolved.

With regards to the ‘discriminated Africans’, the Guangdong authorities have resolved to provide health management services without differentiation; to designate hotels for the accommodation of foreigners required to undergo medical observation at reduced price or free of charge for those who are in financial difficulties; to set up effective communication mechanism with foreign consulates-general in Guangzhou; and to reject all racist and discriminatory remarks and behaviour.

The Chinese government have put strict measures in place to deal with Covid-19 and it hopes that citizens and foreigners alike will respect these.

This virus knows no borders, and with the entire world affected, now more than ever, a global response and global cooperation is vital.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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February/March 2020

 
 
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