Chinese medical team arrives in Zimbabwe to help combat COVID-19

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Chinese medical team members and Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun (C) pose for a photo at Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, on May 11, 2020. A Chinese medical team arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday to assist the southern African country’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19. (Photo by Wanda/Xinhua)

A Chinese medical team arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday to assist the southern African country’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

The 12-member team from central China’s Hunan Province also brought a consignment of medical supplies including ventilators, nucleic acid testing kits, face masks and medical protective suits.

Medical supplies donated by China are unloaded from a plane at Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, on May 11, 2020. A Chinese medical team arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday to assist the southern African country’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)

The team includes experts from respiratory departments, infectious disease departments, and the fields of intensive medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, infection control, public health and nursing.

They will share experience in epidemic control with the Zimbabwean side and offer training for medics on the prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

Speaking during a reception ceremony held at Robert Mugabe International Airport in capital Harare to welcome the team, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun expressed gratitude to the Hunan provincial government and leading medical institutions in the province for sending the medical team to Zimbabwe.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all doctors in this team for coming such a long way to Zimbabwe and to join us fight COVID-19 together,” he said.

By standing together in solidarity, the battle against COVID-19 will be eventually won, Guo said.

“Our friendship dates back to the struggle of national independence of Zimbabwe, and today we are facing a common enemy, COVID-19. The only way to fight against COVID-19 is international coordination and international cooperation,” Guo said.

Zhu Yimin, deputy director of Hunan provincial health commission, said China’s experience in dealing with the pandemic will enhance Zimbabwe’s efforts in combating COVID-19.

“We are here to exchange ideas and to share the experiences of China combating COVID-19 as China has flattened the curve of this pandemic,” he said.

“I hope our mission here will help enhance the confidence in responding to COVID-19 and also cement our friendship,” said Zhu.

July Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Chinese government for standing with Zimbabwe in its fight against COVID-19.

“These experts will interact with experts from Zimbabwe and I think by the time they leave we will have more insights, we will have more things to learn and it can assist us in our strategy to combat COVID-19,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care John Mangwiro said the exchange of ideas between Zimbabwean and Chinese experts will go a long way in combating the spread of COVID-19.

“Their coming in in-person, physically to be with us, with cross-pollination, where we were making mistakes we can now be able to ask them directly. So the human factor is extremely important because now we interface, correct each other, talk medically and we can be able to do all these things,” he said.

Zimbabwe has so far recorded 36 cases of COVID-19, with nine recoveries and four deaths.

Since 1985, China’s Hunan Province has sent 17 groups of 166 medical workers to Zimbabwe

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