China fights Covid-19 pandemic with multi-billion dollar medical supplies - Solomon Star News

China fights Covid-19 pandemic with multi-billion dollar medical supplies

16 April 2020
Alfred Sasako.

AS the global coronavirus death toll continues to accelerate, countries are enacting emergency policies to get critical medical supplies to treat their citizens – fast. 

The pandemic has now affected more than 1.6 million people worldwide with the death toll now approaching 90-thousand people.

And despite criticizing it many countries, in desperation have turned to China. 

In their criticisms, for example, a couple of countries said the quick coronavirus test kits supplied by China are faulty and have produced inaccurate test results, raising concerns about the quality of medical goods made in China. 

Nevertheless, governments and companies are still purchasing billions of Chinese medical goods today. 

It makes one wonder whether they are not concerned or are just too desperate? So, what is really happening?  

To answer this question, let’s go back to where things first started, mainly in Europe. 

In March, Spain claimed that the test kits bought from a Chinese company called Bioeasy are fake, though all these kits are already certified by EU.

The trick is, just as the Chinese company later clarified, Spanish medical staff’s operation is strictly binding to the instruction. 

After the Chinese company helped solved this problem, the Spanish side decided to continue purchasing goods from this company. 

In Slovakia too, some officials questioned the reliability of the quick coronavirus test kits purchased from China. 

But it turns out Slovak medical workers used these antigen test kits incorrectly with a preceding method applicable to nucleic acid testing, which led to the inaccurate results, according to reports from there. 

After the apparent misunderstanding was solved, Slovak foreign ministry thanked China for its help at a difficult time, saying it appreciated China's assistance in exporting medical supplies to Slovakia. 

Nearly the same stories happened in the central European country of Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, and the Philippine, according to reports from there.

The Chinese government and its Embassy in Solomon Islands have clarified similar concerns about Chinese medical goods. They are not the only ones. 

In the United States, President Trump said clearly in a recent White House press briefing that the Chinese testing kit, PPE has good quality because “we test it. We look (at) it. We check it out.” 

Czech President Zeman had also expressed his support for Chinese made medical goods, saying “After consultation with my Ministers of Health and Internal Affairs, I was told Chinese medical supplies have very good quality. Those who took only one defective mask from a million and declaring all are defective, are saying nonsense and should apologize.”

So what if the Chinese medical goods are really defective just as we find one defective mask in one million, does that mean the end of all our trust?

“What’s our choice? 

Perhaps we can learn from what Hua Chunying, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, had to say. 

“Problems should be properly solved based on facts, not political interpretations. In fact, when we first began fighting COVID-19 at home, some of the assistance China received was defective, but we chose to believe and respect the kind intentions of these [donor] countries.”  

In terms of China’s contribution to the fight against the COVID-19, the facts speak for themselves. 

Almost every country deeply affected by COVID-19 has kept purchasing from Chinese companies. For example, a commercial aircraft carrying 80 tons of gloves, masks, gowns and other medical supplies from Shanghai touched down in New York on March 29th, the first of 22 scheduled flights. 

Spain has bought $467 million worth of medical supplies from China, said its Minister of Health. 

The Cabinet Office Minister of the United Kingdom said the government is purchasing 300 new ventilators from China. 

The French government announced it had ordered one billion masks from China and 100 tonnes of medical supplies. 

Following a highly publicized hunt for supplies amid mounting criticism from local authorities and hospitals, Czech government officials greeted a flight from Shanghai carrying 1.1 million FFP-2 level respirators bough from China on 20th March.  

A historic flight, the first of 10 flights to Beijing to deliver PPE to Ireland as part of a €208m deal, has landed back in Dublin. 

Big companies, too, are moving. 

Airbus continues to purchase and supply millions of face masks from China, the large majority of which will be donated to governments of the Airbus home countries, namely France, Germany, Spain and the UK. 

West Australian iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest's Minderoo Foundation has bought 90 tonnes of medical supplies from Chinese suppliers, which will be flown into Perth to be distributed across the state and then Australia. 

According to Chinese Xinhua News agency, China has actively joined hands with the rest of the world to stem COVID-19, with the exports of medical supplies registering 10.2 billion yuan (about $1.43 billion) as of April 4 from March 1.

The items of medical supplies include 3.86 billion face masks, 37.52 million protective suits, 2.41 million infrared thermometers, as well as ventilators, testing kits and goggles. 

Chinese company, BGI ( also been pushed to the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Founded in 1999, BGI is one of the world's leading life science and genomics organizations. 

Its mission is to use genomics to benefit mankind and to be a leader in the era of life sciences, according to its website. 

“With businesses in more than 100 countries and regions around the world, BGI has established cooperation and partnerships with thousands of different organizations across multi-disciplinary research areas including medical health, resource conservation and judicial services. 

“At the same time, BGI provides equipment, technical support and solutions for the needs of national economies and people's livelihoods, such as precision medicine and precision health,” its website said.