Following a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley expressed her gratitude to China for the assistance in fighting against the pandemic on social media on Thursday, reasserting that Barbados only supports a science-based tracing of COVID-19 origins.
Also on Thursday, 48 countries sent letters to the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressing the origins study of virus that caused COVID-19. In the letters, they stress that the study of origins is a matter of science and oppose politicization of this issue.
“I stressed that Barbados only supports a science-based approach with respect to determining the origins of COVID-19,” Mottley’s account posted on Twitter on Thursday, reiterating Barbados’ opposition to the politicization of the probe on the origins of the virus.
Mottley highly commended the Tuesday phone conversation with Xi, saying the call “was a demonstration of the commitment to strengthening relations with China.”
Mottley expressed her thanks to China’ assistance in the fight against the COVID-19. “China has provided PPE (personal protective equipment) and supplies to assist us in our pandemic efforts,” Mottley’s account posted. “We recently received 30,000 Sinopharm vaccines which came at a critical time to support and protect Barbadians.”
China will continue to strengthen vaccine, medical cooperation with Barbados and help the country win the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic at an early date, Xi said in the phone conversation with Mottley on Tuesday.
Barbados is China’s good friend and partner in the eastern Caribbean, said Xi. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties 44 years ago, the two sides have seen sustained high-level exchanges and fruitful cooperation, he added.
“At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading across the world. We feel a duty bound to extend a helping hand whenever our friends need one,” Xi noted.
China has provided “massive donation of supplies and support…over the past 18 months” since the virus outbreak, local news outlet The Barbados Advocate said in a June 30 article covering a handover ceremony for China-donated Sinopharm vaccines held the previous day, where Mottley attended.
According to the website of Chinese Embassy in Barbados, as of June 6, China has sent five medical aid teams and nine batches urgently needed medical supplies to support Barbados’ government and people amid the pandemic.
Including Barbados, China has been working closely with Caribbean nations in the joint fight against the COVID-19. It has provided vaccines and medical supplies to many countries in this area including Cuba, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago. One of the recent batches of China-donated vaccines were transported to St. John’s, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda on June 29, Xinhua News Agency reported that day.