BAGHDAD, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The second batch of Chinese medical aid arrived on Wednesday in Iraq's capital Baghdad as part of China's assistance in confronting the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
"This aid is the second batch provided by the Red Cross Society of China within one month to Iraq," Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Zhang Tao said at a press conference at a military base within the Baghdad international airport.
"I am convinced that the Iraqi ability to diagnose the coronavirus will be strengthened effectively, thanks to the presence of two batches of Chinese aid in addition to building the laboratory specialized in diagnosing infection of coronavirus, which China donated to establish," the ambassador said.
Zhang said that China and Iraq are good friends "and the Chinese side will continue to provide assistance and support to the Iraqi side. We will make joint efforts and we will go hand in hand to combat the novel coronavirus."
Jasim al-Falahi, Iraq's deputy health minister, thanked the Chinese government and people for their continued support for the Iraqi government's efforts to contain COVID-19, which he said "has become a global pandemic, and if all the peoples of the earth do not cooperate, it will not be easily eliminated."
Al-Falahi said that the latest batch of Chinese aid is vital, as it includes personal protective equipment for the medical and nursing staff and laboratory supplies, in addition to an advanced device for detection and radiographic diagnosis of the pneumonia caused by the coronavirus.
On March 7, China sent the first batch of medical aid to Iraq, with a medical team of seven Chinese experts to work with their Iraqi counterparts to fight the coronavirus. The Chinese medical team also built a lab in the Medical City facility in downtown Baghdad to improve the country's coronavirus detection capacity.
Earlier Wednesday, the Iraqi Health Ministry confirmed a total of 1,202 COVID-19 cases and 69 deaths from the coronavirus across the country.
The Iraqi authorities extended a nationwide curfew until April 19 as part of the measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19.