Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed announced on Thursday the arrival of a shipment of medical supplies from the People’s Republic of China, a gift aimed at improving cooperation to combat the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
In a statement, Zayed thanked the government and people of China for the gift, emphasizing the strength of bilateral relations between the two countries.
She also praised the precautionary measures taken by China to protect its citizens in accordance to the guidelines of the World Health Organization, measures that have greatly contributed to curbing the spread of the virus.
Health Ministry Spokesperson Khaled Megahed said that the shipment consisted of four tons of medical supplies, including 20,000 N95 face masks, 10,000 articles of protective clothing, and 10,000 coronavirus detectors.
The Chinese ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang announced that China will provide technical information to Egypt to help in tackling coronavirus, explaining that a video conference had been held wherein Chinese and Egyptian experts exchanged information regarding their experience in dealing with the virus.
Liqiang said that the shipment is the first batch of aid that China will provide to Egypt, and that more aid will be sent to other countries during the next few days.
Liqiang also revealed that there will be an increase in the production capacity of the Egyptian-Chinese factory currently producing face masks in Cairo, saying that the number of production lines will be increased to five. The capacity of each line is 100,000 masks per day. The increase will therefore contribute significantly to increasing the stock of preventative medical supplies in Egypt.
Zayed visited the People’s Republic of China on March 1, to communicate a message of solidarity from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and to deliver a shipment of medical supplies to help counter the coronavirus.
This was not the first time Egypt offered solidarity to other countries amid the coronavirus outbreak.
At the beginning of April, two military planes were sent to Italy with medical supplies to provide aid.
Following President Sisi’s directives, the Egyptian armed forces loaded two military aircraft with medical supplies, protective suits and disinfection materials.
Egyptian presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady said that this was in keeping with the historical bond between Egypt and Italy, with the aim of reducing the burden Italy is facing in its current crisis — especially regarding the severe shortage of medicines, medical supplies and protective tools as the coronavirus ravaged the country.