Saturday, March 28, 2020

China’s medical supplies arrive through Khunjerab Pass

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

China delivered medical supplies to Pakistan on March 27 through the Khunjerab Pass, which is recognized as the highest land port on earth.
In a tweet, the Chinese embassy declared that both sides braved the cold and prepared for the medical supplies which will help combat Coronavirus. 

Earlier China had requested Pakistan to open the border for a day in order to have the supplies transported into the country. 

Under a border protocol agreement of 1985, the Khunjerab border crossing remains closed from the end of November to April. 

The embassy of China in Islamabad was also reported to have requested the Pakistan authorities to make due preparation before the delivery so that all materials could enter Pakistan smoothly. 

According to the details shared by the Chinese embassy, two tons of supplies worth 67 million rupees included masks, test kits, ventilators and personal protection equipment. 

Xinjiang had also donated 100,000 masks to Pakistan earlier this month while Pakistan had also received assistance in the form of medical equipment carrying 450,000 face masks including 50,000 N-95 masks.

Aziz Memon urges people to stay home, follow advice for fighting Coronavirus

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Aziz Memon, the National Chair of Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee (PNPPC) and a former Governor of Rotary International in Pakistan, has urged the people to stay indoors and follow the advice of the government in order to control and eradicate Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The number of patients contracted by Coronavirus has exceeded one thousand in Pakistan and the number of cases is increasing every day which suggests that our preventive measures are not upto the mark. A lot of people are not staying at home. Many people are not following the instructions being advised to them. The safety protocols are being ignored,” he observed in a televised message. 

“My dear friends it has become mandatory now to wash hands for more than 20 seconds regularly. It should be for a minimum of 20 seconds. The longer you are able to do it is more to your benefit,” he emphasized. 

“Please don’t touch your eyes, nose or ears with your hands. If you need to sneeze then please use a tissue paper. Even if you don’t have a tissue at that time then do it on your sleeve but avoid sneezing in the open,” Aziz Memon advised.

“If you can afford sanitizers then try to use it as often as possible. The virus doesn’t attack you randomly. It doesn’t come by itself but it comes by invitation only. As they say this virus has an ego. It will not come to you by itself. So it won’t reach you if you follow the precautions,” he continued.

“We are one nation and we stand united. We must follow the advisories of provincial and federal government. I will urge you to stay at home and perform your religious duties from there. Social distancing is essential. As no vaccine is available right now you have to take all this precautionary measures for yourself and your loved ones,” he explained. 

Later, talking to PNFS, Aziz Memon reminded that he had been pleading for these very things for several years to eradicate polio. 

“The world is polio free but we are not free from polio yet. Sometime religious leaders became a hurdle. Sometimes it became victim of politicians and at times NIDs were postponed to play cricket matches,” he regretted.  

“We have always stated that if eradicate polio we will strengthen our health system to fight a catastrophe like Coronavirus. We will win our battle against Coronavirus and one day make Pakistan polio free. Our real challenge is to strengthen our routine immunization in order to build immunity in children,” Aziz Memon reckoned.

China preparing to send medical experts to help Pakistan fight COVID-19

By Masood Sattar Khan 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chinese government, upon the request of its Pakistan counterparts, has started preparations for sending a team of medical experts to Pakistan to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The Vice Minister of China’s National Health Commission, Zeng Yixin, made the announcement in Beijing in a press conference on March 26. He made these remarks while briefing media on China's cooperation with the international community in fighting the COVID-19. 

He revealed that China has immediately shared the COVID-19 related knowledge, prevention and control plan, and diagnosis and treatment plan with Pakistan since the virus outbreak in Pakistan. 

China also has introduced its experience in preventing, controlling, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 and other issues to Pakistan via video conference. 

At the press conference, Deng Boqing, Vice Chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency, added that China would like to share prevention and control experience with Pakistan in response to the COVID-19 challenge. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan, China has provided Pakistan four batches of medical supplies, including detection reagents, medical protective gowns, N95 face masks, surgical face masks and breathing machines. 

Moving forward, China is preparing to provide Pakistan with more urgently needed and scarce medical supplies and equipment. In addition, China will also assist Pakistan in building a makeshift hospital for isolation. 

When attending the press conference, Luo Zhaohui, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, disclosed that China has sent seven batches of medical experts groups to five countries (Iran, Iraq, Italy, Serbia and Cambodia) since sending the first group to Iran in February 27. It may be noted Luo Zhaohui had also served as Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan. 

“Each and every medical experts group, who brave the coronavirus to rescue people, has won warm welcome from the local governments and peoples,” Luo said. 

According to the reports published in the Chinese media, The medical rescue team to be sent to Pakistan will be established by medical workers in China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region while according to the earlier practices that each province is responsible for organizing a medical aid team.  Xinjiang has donated a batch of medical supplies to Pakistan, which arrived in the country on March 20. 

Besides government, the Chinese companies have been proactively helping Pakistan fight against the epidemic. On March 25, the first batch of relief materials donated by China’s Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation arrived at Karachi. 

The two Foundations will send the second and third batches of relief materials to Pakistan within a week, according to the Consulate-General of China in Karachi. 

“At the non-government level, enterprise and civil societies have joined one after another in the relay race of making donations to Pakistan,” Li Bijian, Consul General of China in Karachi, said.  

COVID-19 has been spreading rapid in Pakistan since the first two confirmed cases were reported on February 26. As of the morning of March 26, Pakistan has seen 1,102 confirmed cases with eight deaths while 21 patients were cured and discharged from hospital.