THE Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has formally handed over $2.5million (US300k) in a donation to support the country prepare for the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).
Foreign Affairs and External Trade Minister Jeremiah Manele yesterday received the funding support of US$300,000 (SBD2.5m) from Counsellor Yao Ming of the Peoples Republic of China Embassy in Honiara.
The donation comes as more medical supplies from China will arrive this week in the country by ship and plane.
Manele told Mr. Ming that Solomon Islands is so privileged to have the kind of assistance from the Peoples Republic of China in such a COVID-19 Pandemic situation.
“Let me also thank your government for contributing US$300,000 to support my government’s efforts to combat COVID-19 in the Solomon Islands,” he said.
He said the cash donation is in addition to numerous support the Peoples Republic of China has contributed to help Solomon Islands respond to coronavirus should it reach its shores.
“The Peoples Republic of China has also donated laboratory equipment and reagents, coronavirus test kits and personal protective equipment.
“Many of these equipment and PPEs will arrive in the country this week by air and sea and others will arrive in due course,” he added.
Manele also thanked the private sector of China for providing most of the medical supplies.
“We also convey our appreciation to the government of China, the private sector of China Jia Shu Rong He International Company, China Harbour Engineering Company and Guangdong Provincial Government for all the medical supply.
“Support covers lab equipment, testing kits, medical gloves, Personal Protective Equipment, various masks, medical, surgical and N95, infrared thermometers and medical goggles,” he added.
His Excellency Yao Ming said China is more than ready to offer its helping hands to help Solomon Islands fight the COVID-19.
He said it is good that Solomon Islands still remains a COVID-19 free though the virus already swept through the Pacific region.
“We have noted that the Solomon Islands government under the leadership of Sogavare has taken strong measures to prepare for and respond to the probable influx of the virus,” he said.
Ming said the partnership between the Solomon Islands and China has just started and they want to begin with health assistance.
He said the US$300,000 financial assistance is part of China’s support to help Solomon Islands in its preparation plan to combat the virus and making sure it does not enter the country.
“We want to start our cooperation by providing assistance in the areas of health and then we can extend other areas,” he said.
By IAN M.KAUKUI