Photos: Sichuan Daily
A group of Chinese medical volunteers flew to Italy on Wednesday with humanitarian aid as coronavirus infections topped 10,000 in the European country, making it the worst-hit country outside China.
The team is led by a senior official of China’s Red Cross Society, consisting of a respiratory physician, an incentive care specialist and other public health emergency responders.
“Epidemic knows no borders,” said Liang Zongan, director of the respiration department of West China Hospital, Sichuan University. Their priority in Italy is to learn the disease’s latest development, share China’s lessons in virus containment and prompt more cooperation in public health issues, said Liang.
Chinese authorities had expressed their willingness to aid Italy as infection cases rose sharply over the past weeks and forced millions of Italians into quarantine.
China will offer Italy assistance like medical supplies, including face masks, and accelerate the export of supplies and equipment, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a phone conversation with his Italian counterpart on Tuesday.
Red Cross Chairman Chen Zhu said China had reached out to Italian authorities over the possibility of dispatching medical volunteers, according to a Chinese media report on Tuesday.
Ahead of the Italy mission, China’s Red Cross Society had sent expert teams and medical supplies to Iran and Iraq to help the Middle Eastern countries’ epidemic response.