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China committed to helping Sierra Leone prevent COVID-19

By Abu Bakarr Kargbo (People's Daily Online)    10:41, March 25, 2020

Ambassador Hu Zhangliang receives a certificate from the president of Sierra Leone’s Parliamentary Press Gallery, Hassan Y. Koroma 

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang, has pledged his country’s commitment to supporting Sierra Leone’s efforts to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19). Addressing members of Sierra Leone’s Parliamentary Press Gallery in Freetown, the Chinese ambassador described the fight against the virus as a great battle that involves a huge financial cost, one that China is going through at the moment not only to protect its people but to safeguard global health security.

“In two months, 99 percent of cases were in China and some countries did not pay attention to it. Now it is everywhere,” he said and added that this calls for a collective effort around the globe to fight a common enemy that is currently ravaging lives.

Ambassador Hu said although Sierra Leone is yet to record a single case, the risk and threat posed by COVID-19 is high, especially now that it is in West Africa.

“China will not relent in supporting Sierra Leone should there be a case,” he remarked, adding that at present China is helping the government of Sierra Leone to prevent it.

The Chinese Medical Team and other Chinese nationals are currently working hand-in-glove with Sierra Leoneans in helping to see that the coronavirus does not enter Sierra Leone. This is why the Chinese embassy and Chinese community recently provided the necessary equipment to make the country safe because, as the Chinese ambassador puts it, “if Sierra Leone is safe, we as Chinese living in this country will be safe also.” The items donated are 500 sets of protective gowns, 500 N95 respirators, 1,000 surgical masks, 1,000 medical gloves, 200 medical goggles and a 50kw generator to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

“I am happy to see that the Sierra Leoneans have been resilient. With a concerted effort, the virus will be defeated. Everyone needs to be on board, especially countries like Sierra Leone that do not have a very good medical system,” Ambassador Hu remarked, adding that he is impressed with the strong measures taken by the government to stop the potential consequences.

“Sierra Leone has gone through Ebola, which has impeded its development, and having the coronavirus will bring devastating problems. This is why everybody needs to fully comply with the measures the government has put in place. The media should take the lead in motivating people and encourage them in their response,” he said.

China and Sierra Leone have a long history of harmonious relations, a common development goal, and a shared future.

Although a smear campaign has been waged against China by some world leaders, Sierra Leoneans have sympathized and empathized with the Asian economic giant since it recorded its first case of COVID-19. Several organizations and individuals have visited the Chinese embassy in Freetown to console and sympathize over the devastating consequences caused by the coronavirus. One such party was the Sierra Leone Parliamentary Press Gallery, whose President, Hassan Y. Koroma, thanked the Chinese for the good job they have done over the years and expressed his organization’s heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of those who lost their lives as a result of COVID-19. He said that the Press Gallery will stand with China to defeat the virus. “We have learned a lot from China and we hope the friendship will continue,” he said.

Ambassador Hu Zhangliang responded by thanking the Press Gallery for its support over the years and assured it that the Chinese will continue to work hand in hand with Sierra Leone to bring about common prosperity. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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