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China’s assistance helped Pakistan contain spread of COVID-19

By Zamir Ahmed Awan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-04-21 10:34

Chinese medical experts share their experience in COVID-19 prevention and control with their Pakistan counterparts at Pakistan Emirate Military Hospital in Rawalpindi of eastern Pakistan's Punjab province, April 1, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Pakistan managed to contain the spread of COVID-19 due to assistance extended by time-tested friend China. An expert medical team consisting of doctors has left Pakistan after providing necessary training to Pakistani health officials, doctors, and paramedics. They conducted intensive training and crash programs for Pakistani health experts in all major cities, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi.

The Chinese team was on a two-week-long visit to Pakistan and provided timely and valuable assistance during this time to deal, overcome, and mitigate COVID-19 challenges. China-Pakistan relationship has proved a test of time once again.China not only looked after Pakistani nationals during the outbreak of COVID-19 in China but also took good care of Pakistani students in China.

China has provided critical medical supplies to Pakistan, including 529,924 N95 Masks, 33,744 protective suits, 10,000 testing kits, 1,558,379 medical masks, 36 ventilators, 180 thermometers, 100 thermal scanners, 24,900 gloves, 59,376 goggles, 10,000 liters of sanitizers, and 1442 kg non-woven fabric for making protective suits. 

Chinese assistance in the form of expert advice and medical materials was in time and has mitigated the efforts of Pakistan in containing COVID-19.

Pakistan is the sixth-largest country in the world, with a population of 220 million. But it’s passing through the adverse economic crisis. And it’s not ready to face the challenge of the contagious virus outbreak. The lack of medical facilities, medical materials, and expertise was the major hurdle.

With the Chinese assistance, Pakistan was able to contain the virus to a significant extent. The total number of confirmed cases reported in Pakistan is 7,993. The death toll is 159. The number of confirmed cases is 36 per million of the population, whereas the global figure is 300 per million of the population. The number of deaths stands at 0.7 per million of the population, while the world data is 20.6 per million of the population. Statistics show that the local transmission is 59 percent and foreign travel 41 percent.

To keep the spread of the virus contained was possible with smart policies formulated with close coordination with Chinese experts and precautions placed in time. Medical materials provided by China were fully utilized to control rapid spread out. Ventilators and hospital donated by China was a significant reason to keep the death rate so low.

After achieving victory against the outbreak, the Chinese experience is valuable and guidelines for the rest of the world.

It is not the first time the history of China-Pakistan friendship is full of such examples, where we have stood side by side in a challenging moment.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan is a Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.


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