A Chinese emergency medical assistance team Arrived in Addis Ababa on 16th April 2020. Photo: Courtesy.
In the current global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, one message that has been echoed by many countries is that there is no single country that can win the war against the coronavirus (COVID19) alone. There is need for solidarity and cooperation among world nations; whether developed, developing, rich or, as the pandemic does not discriminate or respect any territorial boundaries.
On 16th April 2020, The Chinese emergency team arrived in Ethiopia following another support package of tons of medical supplies to all African countries meant to fight COVID19 which were donated by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation. Thanks to the initiative by the two Chinese agencies which also set up The Global MediXchange for Combating COVID-19 (GMCC) program, an online platform to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese experts have also shared anti-epidemic experience in hospital management, emergency response and medical staff training with frontline doctors in a number of African countries and all over the world by their physical presence and through video conferences.
It is of great importance to note that last week, 13 African countries agreed on a joint proposal with China to work together to fight against COVID19. The proposal that was released online in six languages, recalled how in 2014, the cooperation between African countries played a significant role in combating Ebola virus in West Africa, and appreciated the current mutual trust and assistance prevailing in combating COVID19.
More than 50 scholars, think tank leaders and media representatives from China and 13 African countries endorsed the proposal which called among other steps in the joint fight against COVID19, to avoid fuelling stigmatization, politicizing the matter, and creating bias and prejudice by adopting universally accepted moral principles.
According to the latest data by the John Hopkins University and Africa Center for Disease Control on COVID-19 in Africa, there are now more than over 19,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the African continent. Recorded deaths are above 1,000 while recovered Patients numbered 4,619 as of 18th April 2020 at 5.00GMT. The Data is sourced from 52 countries, with Lesotho and Comoros being the only Africa countries having no recorded cases and still considered as COVID10 free countries. However, some analysts are of the view that the sampled numbers in testing are still low and there might be more infected people who are not yet tested. This is likely to pause a serious challenge in the near future where infections are likely to explode if no mitigating measures are put in place on time.
The China support and cooperation with Africa in the fight against COVID19 was timely to save millions of lives at risk. Today, although the infection cases in many countries are still rising, the availability of testing kits enable medical staff to test, and isolate the patients to avoid contaminating others. Total lockdown and travel restrictions have also been imposed in many African countries, which was a strong measure also imposed by China that tremendously curtailed the infection rate. World health Organization (WHO) reports that it has been working closely with the African Union (AU), national governments and Jack Ma Foundation to ensure that the required supplies get to the frontline workers in African countries. Apart from providing assistance to African countries, China has as well offered assistance to 127 countries worldwide and four international organization in the fight against COVID19.
As the cases of COVID19 infections worldwide exceed 2million people, with the US registering the highest number of more than 700,000, in Africa the highest infections recorded are in South Africa and Egypt which have more than 3,000 cases each, followed by: Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, Tunisia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria.
The close cooperation between Africa and China in the war against COVID19, emphasizes building a community with a shared future and the assurance of emerging victorious together and overcoming the looming threats of sets backs in the Political and Socio-economic wellbeing of Africa and the Chinese people. Through solidarity and cooperation, African and China will prevail beyond COVID19.
Africa China Review Editorial