China building makeshift hospital for Pakistan to treat COVID-19 patients
Beijing, Mar 30: China, which has sent medical teams and supplies to Pakistan where coronavirus cases are increasing steadily, said on Monday that it was building a makeshift hospital there to treat COVID-19 patients.
The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan reached 1,664 while the death toll stood at 18, health officials said on Monday, underlining that local transmission of the deadly COVID-19 is increasing.
"Recently, the pandemic is also spreading in Pakistan. We totally relate to what they are experiencing," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here. "The Chinese government has donated supplies such as testing kits, masks, protective suits and ventilators to Pakistan. And we will also help Pakistan to set up adhoc makeshift hospital.
Last week this hospital has been put into construction," she said while replying to a question. China had built two major makeshift hospitals with 2,300 bed capacity in Wuhan in early February at the height of the coronavirus outbreak in the city. Hua said China has invited Pakistan to attend the video conference on COVID-19 and a medical expert team is in Islamabad.
On Saturday, a special plane from China carrying a team of eight medical experts and relief assistance arrived in Pakistan. Besides airlifting supplies, China also sent medical supplies to Pakistan through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to fight the steadily increasing coronavirus case there. A truck full of five ventilators, 2,000 safety apparel, 20,000 medical masks and 24,000 nucleic acid testing kits were sent from Khunjrab Pass to the Gilgit-Baltistan region, according to official media here.
In addition, many friendly sister cities and provinces in China also donated the epidemic response and control materials to Pakistan and they are also joined by Red Cross Society and many enterprises help is on the way, Hua said. "Going forward, we will continue to provide our best help to Pakistan if necessary," she said.
"China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and iron friends. We have fine tradition of lending each other support and mutual assistance in the time of adversary," she said.
Pakistan President Arif Alvi visited Beijing on March 16 and met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and other leaders to "show solidarity" as China battled coronavirus at home. Pakistan also did not evacuate its over 1,000 nationals stuck in the coronavirus hit Wuhan despite their desperate pleas, stating that China has promised to look after them.