Chinese aid for fighting COVID-19 arrives in Solomon Islands

A plane carrying Chinese aid for fighting COVID-19 arrives in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, February 18. (Photo: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Chinese aid for fighting COVID-19 arrived in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands on Friday, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.

The anti-pandemic materials, carried by China's large military transport aircraft Y-20, include 320,000 testing reagents, 20 oxygen concentrators, 20 pulse oximeters, 180,000 pairs of gloves, 20,000 protective eye goggles, 10,000 protective suits, 100 folding beds and 70 tents, weighing more than 20 tonnes.

Officials of Solomon Islands' Health and Medical Services expressed gratitude to the Chinese government and people for the prompt aid, adding that the pandemic is another serious challenge Solomon Islands and the people faced after riots that broke out in its capital last November.

"At this critical moment, upon our request, China once again rushed to emergency assistance, overcame various difficulties such as the suspension of the airlines between our two nations, raised the needed materials as quickly as possible, and used the military transport aircraft to deliver the supplies."

"It fully reflects China's firm support for the Solomon Islands government and people and has once again demonstrated China's speed and responsibility as a major country in the world."

Recently, the pandemic situation in the Solomon Islands had intensified, and the number of confirmed cases surged. The Minister of Health and Medical Services Culwick Togamana warned on Thursday that people need to take extra care of themselves and their families as COVID-19 continues to overstretch the country's health services.

Government data showed a total of 5,043 cases had been reported as of Wednesday since community transmission began in January 2020, but health authorities believe that the figure is underreported due to a limited testing capacity.

China has recently provided strong support and assistance to the Solomon Islands in responding to social unrest and the COVID-19 situation.

This aid operation has once again vividly proved that the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Solomon Islands fully meets the long-term and fundamental interests of the Solomon Islands people as well as the trend of development, said the statement.