China to continue COVID-19 assistance
The Chinese Embassy has assured the country China will continue to offer its assistance throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic.
China’s Ambassador to Samoa, Chao Xiaoliang, said in an interview with the Samoa Observer that they will provide personal protective equipment and other equipment to help Samoa keep the pandemic at bay.
Last year China donated over a million face masks, 100,000 protective suits and 23,000 protective face shields and goggles to Pacific Island countries including Samoa.
It also offered assistance with COVID-19 vaccines through their contributions to the COVAX Facility with China's SinoPharm COVID-19 vaccine now approved by the World Health Organisation.
In early June this year 600 Chinese nationals in Samoa were vaccinated with the SinoPharm vaccine after it was granted permission by the Ministry of Health (M.O.H) in April.
The SinoPharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, which is a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group.
The SinoPharm vaccine was granted permission by the M.O.H on 21 April to enter and be administered in Samoa on the following grounds: SinoPharm vaccine is provided for the use for Chinese nationals residing in Samoa only, and will not be used for Samoan citizens.
In terms of other assistance throughout the pandemic, Ambassador Xiaoliang highlighted the assistance of the Chinese medical team at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, who shared their experience and provided medical assistance in the country.
Since 1980 the Chinese Government has been sending medical teams to Samoa to provide medical services. To date a total of 125 medical professionals out of 18 medical teams have worked in Samoan hospitals.
Other assistance during the pandemic according to Ambassador Xiaoliang is the intervention by a Chinese forensic pathologist team, who travelled to Samoa and cleared a backlog of human remains that needed postmortem.
He said the team was the best in China and he hopes that this type of cooperation can continue in the future.
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