The People’s Republic of China has dismissed claims of contamination of its medical supplies to countries it is assisting with their efforts at combating the coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to China’s Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, products supplied to countries in fighting the pandemic were of quality standards, describing contrary assertions as “malicious”, stressing that “the videos making the rounds are fake and made by malicious people to tarnish the image of China and must be disregarded.”
He made the statement in Accra yesterday at the handing over of close to 60 metric tonnes of medical supplies to Ghana and 17 other African countries in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
Ghana’s consignment comprised 3,000 N95 face masks for frontline health workers, 10,000 pieces of protective face masks for all, 2,500 disposable overalls, 800 infrared thermometers, 2,500 medical goggles, 10,000 pieces of single use gloves and 10,000 disposable shoe covers.
Other countries expected to benefit from the gesture, include Nigeria, Senegal, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Benin, Congo, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe.
Mr Wang remarked that though there was global shortage of medical supplies as a result of the pandemic, China was committed to strengthening its relations with Africa by offering assistance where possible.
“So far, in the nation of 1.4 billion people, the number of new confirmed homegrown cases has nearly become zero, and though this achievement does not come without cost, we have accumulated rich experiences, which we are willing to share with the international community.”
In that regard, he pointed out that, China had established an online training platform to share its medical expertise with Ghana and other African countries, as it continued donating medical supplies and strengthen cooperation with member states to contain the pandemic.
Receiving the items, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, expressed delight that Ghana had been chosen as the transit centre for the supply of medical equipment to other African countries as part of regional efforts to curb the pandemic.
“Our hope is that the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Ghana, which is entrusted with the distribution of the medical supplies to the other 17 beneficiary countries, would be able to do so in record time. The government of Ghana is prepared to offer the necessary assistance and facilitation to ensure the speedy delivery of the items,” she stated.
Ms Botchway, while urging all to continue abiding by outlined protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19, expressed confidence that global efforts in fighting the pandemic would soon yield results to return life to normal.
On his part, Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu outlined measures put in place by government to contain further spread of the disease, including the local manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to meet demand.
“This gesture will go a long way to augment what we have in the system and we hope that by the end of this week, we will receive about 3.6 billion face masks among others from the five local companies selected to produce PPEs,” he said.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH
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