COLOMBO, April 2 (Xinhua) — China has handed over its first donation of humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Sri Lanka to strengthen the solidarity between the two countries as Sri Lanka fights the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka said on Thursday.
The aid, which includes 50,000 medical masks and 1,008 COVID-19 test kits, was handed over by Hu Wei, charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy, to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo, and the materials were later handed over to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and her team at a formal ceremony held on Wednesday.
The embassy said Sri Lankan prime minister and health minister thanked the Chinese government and its people for the donation and commended China’s efforts in successfully battling the pandemic in their country.
Rajapaksa said as Sri Lanka is now battling the COVID-19, the country looked forward to continued support from China in terms of their experience and prevention methods in controlling the pandemic as well as medical supplies.
Hu briefed the prime minister on the recent situation in curbing the pandemic spread in China and praised Sri Lanka for their efforts in fighting the virus which had been widely recognized by the World Health Organization and the international community.
Hu said China will continue to share its experience in the prevention, control and treatment of the COVID-19, and will continue to provide help within its capacity through various channels.
Director General of Health Services at the Health Ministry Anil Jasingha told the media after handover ceremony that China had handed over materials that was of vital importance to Sri Lanka’s health sector and appreciated the strong solidarity shown at this special time.
Also on Thursday, Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry said a 73-year-old patient who was infected with COVID-19 died at the National Infectious Disease Hospital, taking the death toll in the country to three.
According to the latest figures from the ministry, so far 148 people have been infected by the COVID-19, of whom 21 have recovered.
The country has remained under an islandwide curfew since March 20 over the outbreak of the pandemic.
(The picture at the top shows the Sri Lankan Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi (4th from the left) receiving the supplies from Chinese officials. Photo: Xinhua/Tang Lu)