ADDIS ABABA, April 23 (Xinhua) — The latest batch of massive medical supplies donated by China to 12 African countries and regions arrived on Thursday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa through the Ethiopian Airlines Caro Services.
High-level officials and representatives of national and international offices as well as diplomats and representatives of the African Union (AU) and the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) attended the arrival and delivery ceremony held on the premises of the Ethiopian Airlines Cargo terminal in Addis Ababa on Thursday afternoon.
Noting the rapid increase of COVID-19 across different parts of the African continent, the high-level officials and experts attending the arrival ceremony hailed the donation for its great contribution to deal with the epidemic across the African continent.
The medical supplies include facial masks, disposable protective clothing, forehead thermometers, medical protective goggles, gloves and shoe covers for medical use, among other equipments, it was noted.
Tan Jian, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, said during the occasion that the COVID-19 outbreak “has dragged the whole human race into a fierce war on a global scale. The virus is new and highly infectious. The attack is sudden and unprecedented.”
“A friend in need, is a friend indeed. The China-Africa cooperation in fighting COVID-19 is a telling testament to our friendship,” the ambassador affirmed.
Noting that China “has received heart-warming help and support from Africa at the most trying stage of China’s fight against the outbreak,” Tan stressed that the “profound friendship will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people.”
The medical supplies are expected to be transferred to 12 African countries and regions that are Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Djibouti, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Somalia as well as Tanzania’s Zanzibar.
Ethiopia has already received medical supplies from China recently, while more is said to be on the way to the East African country, while another batch of China-aided medical supplies has been shipped to some other African countries via Accra, Ghana earlier this month.
According to the Africa CDC, the death toll from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent reached 1,242 as the number of confirmed cases hit 25,937 as of Thursday afternoon.
Dawit Yirga, Director General of Asia and Oceania Affairs at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also stressed that Africa and China are “all weather friends and the Sino-Africa strategic partnership has shown vitality and strength in this time of unprecedented challenges.”
China, which is also presently fighting against COVID-19 at home, is winning acclaim from across the African continent for its solidarity and support to African countries and regional organizations in the continent’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of China’s support to Africa’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, Chinese experts and officials from health and customs departments also shared information and experience about COVID-19 in a video conference with officials and healthcare specialists from the African Union (AU), the Africa CDC as well as various African countries, showing commitment to sharing experience and supporting Africa in the fight against the pandemic.
Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group, also commended the solidarity demonstrated to Africa by the Chinese government as well as Chinese companies and civil societies on the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO also stressed that the airlines’ successful partnership with different actors in delivering the life-saving medical supplies across the African continent is showed the true African integration in line with the AU Vision 2063.