A team of medical experts, sent by the Chinese Government to Pakistan for contributing to country's fight against novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has started engaging deeply with their local counterparts for the cause. The Chinese medical team visited military hospitals in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and shared experiences in the prevention and control of COVID-19.
Visiting Chinese experts have recommended that Pakistan must prioritize prevention and control of epidemic outbreak. "Pakistan is taking effective measures to combat COVID-19, such as closing the border to control the risk of new cases imported from abroad, locking down some big cities and treating the patients in isolation wards who affected COVID-19. Chinese doctors are of the view that given the limited medical resources in Pakistan and the rapid development of the epidemic, the prevention and control of the epidemic were supposed to continue to be given top priority. If the outbreak was not contained and the numbers of patients' trends to shoot up, it will leave Pakistan's medical resources on the verge of collapse," Dr. Ma Minghui, head of the Chinese medical team said.
The Chinese medical team consisting of eight experts arrived on March 28 along with 10,000 test kits, 10,800 N95 masks, 100,800 disposable medical masks, 5,000 medical protective clothes, 12 ventilators, 5 defibrillator monitors and some 62,000 sets of drugs for treating COVID-19 patients was sent to support Pakistan in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The eight Chinese experts who have extensive experience of COVID-19 are from People's Hospital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University. The main task of the medical team is to share and exchange experience with local hospitals and experts, introduce China's experience in fighting the epidemic, provide advice on epidemic prevention and control, patient treatment and laboratory work, and provide training and guidance to Pakistani medical staff and so on.
The Chinese experts have so far visited NIH and several other hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Li Fengsen, Chief Physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region focused on China's Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Plan (7th Edition) for Pakistani medical staff. "This plan was developed and implemented based on the pathology, physiology, epidemiology and imaging of COVID-19 in China over the past two months. I hope this plan will help Pakistani health workers fight the epidemic," he said.
"We have learned quite a lot of new things about basically Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment from the Chinese doctors. How the cases are managed? How do we take precautions and measures to strengthen the system to contain the cases and how to assist diagnosis by the serology? It is very helpful. I am sure as they go along the tour of Pakistan, they will spread their knowledge everywhere and they will be very extremely helpful for people of Pakistan," Doctor Khan of NIH said.
Chinese, Eurasian and South Asian countries medical experts also held a video conference on COVID-19 prevention and control on March 20. Nasim Akhtar took part in the video conference and asked questions on behalf of Pakistan.
"We are very grateful for all the experts who had come to Pakistan even in this outbreak situation. I think their presentations are very much appreciated. We get many more answers to our questions because in the last video conference Pakistan did not get many cases. But now we are having more and more cases in different provinces. I think we will have more benefit of their experiences," Ms. Nasim Akhtar Assistant Professor of infectious diseases at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said.
The Chinese medical experts' team is now set to visit Lahore and Karachi. The Chinese team will provide guidance and professional opinions on the prevention and control of COVID-19 to local staff and medical workers in Lahore & Karachi.
The Chinese Ambassador also conveyed message of cooperation and collaboration in fight against COVID-19. "The cooperation between China and Pakistan is a model of international cooperation. The Chinese Government sent a medical team to Pakistan, showing the deep friendship between China and Pakistan. China will continue to provide the best possible help to Pakistan in the future," Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said. Back in Beijing, Pakistan Embassy organized a donation camp for medical equipment to aid Pakistan fight against COVID-19. The donated medical supplies were dispatched to Pakistan on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane.
The emergency relief supplies were procured by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and collected by Pakistan Embassy, Beijing respectively. The procured and donated relief goods included Nucleic Acid Detection Kits, IgG/IgM Rapid Test Devices, Real-time Fluorescent Kits, scanners, KN95 masks, gloves, goggles, protective clothing, surgical masks and many other items.
The Pakistan Embassy, Beijing is in touch with the Chinese Government institutions, private companies and charitable organizations urging them to donate the equipment/items required by Pakistan in its fight against COVID-19. So far, the Embassy and its affiliated Consulates have received more than 30 tons of donated relief items.
Speaking on this occasion, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Naghmana Hashmi said that China was close friend of Pakistan, and the Chinese nation has come forward to support Pakistan's fight against COVID-19 epidemic. "Amid ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese Government, companies and organizations had openheartedly come out to help Pakistan," she added.
In Beijing alone, goods worth 25 million yuan ($3.5 million) had been received in donations and more are expected to be received soon. "This would be the first shipment from donation camp, although many more are expected as the Chinese nation, companies, organization and above all the government has been generous in medical relief donation. This act shows the firm brotherhood of China, Pakistan, while our friendship transcended the traditional parameters of bilateral relationship," she affirmed.
"This time-tested, All-Weather Strategic Cooperative partnership was based on unparalleled mutual trust, understanding and commonality of interests. Generous donations from Chinese entities at this critical time were meant to convey strong support and solidarity with Pakistan," she confirmed.
This donation campaign was an ongoing endeavor from the Pakistan Embassy, Beijing to arrange medical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help Pakistan combat COVID-19 outbreak. Receiving such huge donations from the Chinese people, companies, organizations, and government shows that the Pakistani volunteers, students, business community whole heartily participation in the initial China's fight against COVID-19 was well remembered. When other countries closed borders with China, and took their citizens from Wuhan in Hubei Province, central China and other cities. Pakistan stood up and continued cooperation with Iron Brother.
Similarly, the Pakistani Community, Students, and Embassy remained by Chinese brothers side, in their fight against COVID-19. With the tied turn that China has finally secured and contained virus spread, almost has won the war against invisible enemy. They came to forward to help Pakistani nation.
"Pakistani volunteers stayed in China to fight the novel coronavirus when our country was stricken by COVID-19. It is high time that we lend a hand to our iron-clad friends since they are in trouble now", Zhu Min, a Chinese volunteer who offered to collect Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Pakistanis said.
Virus does not respect borders. As Pakistan and more countries have come together to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, a common enemy of mankind, Chinese people are taking actions to support their Pakistani friends.
Ali Qadir, a Pakistani student studying in Nanjing City, south China posted a WeChat Moment for help on March 19, saying that he wants to collect epidemic prevention supplies for his fellow countrymen in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Noticing Ali's appeal, Chinese volunteer Zhu Min lent a hand to collect epidemic prevention materials that included goggles, gloves, surgical masks, protective clothing... "We are aware that Quetta reports many COVID-19 cases, so we reposted Ali’s Moment and collected some PPE for our Pakistani friends," Zhu noted on March 23.
"Hello, friends in Pakistan! Thank you for donating masks to us before, now it's time to help you back. Welcome to Xiamen when you have time off," Yao Yang, an 8-year-old girl from Xiamen City in southeast China, recently spent her pocket money to buy 80 masks for children in Pakistan and wrote a thank-you note to them. Yao Yang was told by her parents that Pakistan donated all of its inventory masks in hospitals nationwide to China when it was hard-hit by COVID-19. Hearing this, little Yao offered to buy masks and donate them to children in Pakistan with her 100 pocket money without hesitation. To encourage the little girl, Mr. Yao and his wife gave her 200 more to buy 80 masks in total.
Together with the letter of thanks, the masks were sent by express mail to the Pakistani Embassy in China.
In addition to those warm words, Yao also drew three children holding hands and wearing masks on the note, one of whom was herself. Yao wishes children in Pakistan a good health. Aid is also seen in the land of Pakistan.
A Chinese girl distributing masks in Islamabad was seen roaming around in the streets of the federal capital and won hearts with her kind gesture in a time of need. In an interview with a news outlet, Niyu Chung, working with an IT firm in Pakistan, said that she noticed several people were not taking precautionary measures against the deadly disease. Therefore, she decided to present surgical masks to every passerby and encourage them to observe social distancing.
In a video on the Internet, Niyu can be seen handing face masks to pedestrians, bike riders as well as traffic sergeants. "We (are) all in this together and by being united we will definitely bring the pandemic under control soon," she said on Twitter.
(This is an article originally published by The Daliy Mail, Pakistan on April 3)