A 12-member Chinese medical team of experienced experts in management of Covid-19 arrived yesterday with a consignment of test kits and protective gear to help Zimbabwe respond effectively to the pandemic.
The team was received at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Deputy Minister David Musabayana and Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Guo Shaochun
The medical team comes from Hunan Province in south central China, which borders Hubei Province where Covid-19 patients were first diagnosed, and so was involved in China’s successful battle against the pandemic almost from the start.
They will be in the country for the next 14 days and brought a consignment of PCR test kits, personal protective equipment and other supplies.
During the 14 days, the team is expected to meet President Mnangagwa and others involved in the national Covid-19 response initiative, including medical professionals, with whom they will share experiences, and will visit isolation centres.
China has been resuming production without renewing the pandemic and so the team will hold seminars with Chinese businesspeople on how to resume production within the recommended guidelines and standards.
The Chinese medical team leader, Dr Yimin Zhu, said their mission was not only sharing experiences and helping medical professionals in Zimbabwe, but would also strengthen the already existing diplomatic relations between China and Zimbabwe.
“The Chinese medical team is not only here to share experiences and exchange ideas with our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters but also to convey a message of our commitment and strong friendship” said Dr Zhu.
Ambassador Guo Shaochun thanked his Government and hospitals in Hunan Province for sending the medical team and the consignment of drugs and PPEs to assist the country in combating Covid 19.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the central Government of Hunan Province, and also say thank you to the leading hospitals and medical institutions of Hunan Province, for organising such a team. I would also want to thank all the doctors in this team for coming all the way to join us in the fight against Covid-19,” said ambassador Shaochun.
In his acknowledgement speech, Minister Moyo, who is chairman of the taskforce responsible for resource mobilisation, thanked the Chinese Government for its continuous assistance towards Zimbabwe.
“You have demonstrated that we are all-weather friends and the donation that you are bringing today is very valuable in that you are bringing professional medical staff who have been on the frontline in fighting Covid-19 in your country. In addition to that, you are also bringing some of the stuff that is key in our response and that is personal protective equipment. This donation will bolster our efforts to fight against the pandemic,” said Minister Moyo.
Deputy Minister Mangwiro said in managing outbreaks, the cross pollination of ideas was key and the coming in of the Chinese team would go a long way in pushing the country’s response a notch higher.