THE People’s Republic of China (PRC)has delivered on its pledge to provide “urgent Anti-COVID Assistance” to Solomon Islands to help the Government contain the rapid spread of the virus.
A Chinese Government cargo transporter touched down at Honiara’s Henderson International Airport shortly after midday on Wednesday delivering Beijing’s assistance, which include:
- 50,000 doses of SinoPharm vaccines
- 51,200 packs of disposable syringe (with needle)
- 20,000 rapid antigen test kits (FAT)
- PPEs and medical supplies
- 50 units of 5*6- meter tent kits for field hospital’s makeshift buildings
China also provided Humanitarian funding of USD $320,000 (about SBD $2,560,000), pledging to do more should the government request further assistance.
“China stands ready to respond to further assistance requests by the Solomon Islands government, the Chinese Embassy said in a statement last weekend.
The government cargo transporter, believed to be similar to a C-130 military aircraft, spent a few hours unloading its consignment in Honiara before departing around 7pm.
In the statement last week, the Chinese government and people shared “empathy with the government and people of Solomon Islands for the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Solomon Islands.”
“After first daily announcement of newly confirmed cases by the Honorable Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, the Chinese Embassy in Honiara discussed anti-COVID-19 aid supplies with officials of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPMC), Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MAET,” the statement said.
The anti-COVID aid assistance is not the first time China has assisted Solomon Islands in the fight against the deadly disease.
“China stands firmly with Solomon Islands in its fight against the pandemic and in the past years and has provided hundreds of thousands of PPEs, helped build first PCR laboratory, established the first isolation ward at the National Referral Hospital, and shared China’s knowhow.
“At this difficult time, we are sympathetic with those affected people and their families. China will provide urgent assistance to the government and people of Solomon Islands to help contain the spread of virus.”
Two people have died of the disease since the first positive cases were identified on 19th January. The number of people with the infections have since surged forcing the government to impose the second lockdown in Honiara in as many weeks.
The number of infections stood at 65 as of last Wednesday.
The first shipment of urgent medical supplies will arrive next week by Chinese government cargo flight. The field hospital tent kits are to be shipped by sea shortly Let us join hands with full confidence, and work together for a shared future.
By Alfred Sasako