China assures Samoa of COVID-19 support

China will continue to assist Samoa and the rest of the world bring the COVID-19 global pandemic under control.

That is the assurance from members of China’s new medical team which flew into Samoa last month and recently started work at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital (T.T.M.) at Moto’otua after clearing their 14-day mandatory quarantine.

They said their Chinese home province of Jilin reported few COVID-19 cases during the pandemic as the local authorities were able to contain the spread of the virus.

Dr. Yinnan Zhou, who is part of the medical team, explained that he had no fear during the COVID-19 outbreak as the Chinese government was able to deal with the health crisis effectively.

He then emphasised the importance of washing hands, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing as the first line of defence to keep one safe. 

Dr. Zhou added that prior to travelling to Samoa, the team underwent a lot of training in COVID-19 prevention, which are skills that would become helpful to Samoa and he is ready to assist where he can. 

The Chinese medical team leader, Dr. Yankai Yu, expressed similar sentiments and also emphasised the importance of maintaining hygiene and social distancing while acknowledging the effectiveness of Samoa’s quarantine policy.  

A statement issued by a Chinese Embassy spokesperson in Samoa said since the COVID-19 pandemic, China has adopted the most thorough, rigorous and comprehensive containment measures and has for now succeeded in cutting all channels for the virus transmission domestically.

"Currently, only a limited number of new cases are reported in China, most of which are imported from abroad,” the spokesperson said. 

“During China’s Golden Week holiday from October 1 and October 7, China saw 637 million people or 46 per cent of the entire country's population, travel across the country without any surges in cases. China's economic growth in the first three quarters turned from negative to positive.

“In particular, the third quarter saw a much faster growth rate of 4.9 percent, 1.7 percentage points higher than the second quarter, becoming the only major economy to maintain positive growth this year.”

China's success in COVID-19 control and prevention has also been attributed to a number of factors. 

They include establishing systematic response mechanisms, testing quickly and accurately, adopting big data and information technology, preparing and mobilising adequate medical resources, implementing preventive measures in various places (communities, schools, businesses, government offices and homes), and keeping the public well informed.

In terms of China's international exchanges and cooperation in response to COVID-19, the Embassy statement explains that China stands for the vision of a global community of shared future, and has actively participated in and advanced international cooperation as part of a global response to COVID-19.

"As what President Xi Jinping addressed the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, six proposals have been put forward: to do everything we can for Covid-19 control and treatment, to support the WHO in leading the global response, to provide greater support for developing countries, to strengthen global governance in public health, to restore economic and social development, and to strengthen international cooperation," the statement reads.

"China has provided humanitarian assistance to the international community. Even while under the tremendous pressure of coronavirus control, China has moved quickly to provide as much assistance to the international community as it can. 

"China has pledged to provide $2 billion over two years to help other countries respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries. 

“It has provided two batches of cash support totaling US$50 million to the W.H.O., assisted the organization in purchasing personal protective equipment and establishing reserve centers of supplies in China, and helped its Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund to raise funds in China. 

“It has also participated in the W.H.O. Access to Covid-19 Tools (act) Accelerator initiative, aiming to speed up the development, production and equitable distribution of new tools. 

“China has actively participated in and acted upon the Debt Service Suspension Initiative of the G20 and grant debt suspension to countries including Samoa.”

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