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Chinese medical experts share experiences with Pacific Island Countries' peers to jointly fight COVID-19

On March 10, officials from the China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Health Commission as well as Chinese medical experts shared experience and information in a video conference with government officials and medical specialists from 10 Pacific island countries, namely, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. Fijian medical expert and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the video conference in the Chinese Embassy in Fiji on Tuesday afternoon.


Officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing.

The video conference lasted for two hours. The Chinese experts talked about pathology, transmission, epidemic evolution, prevention and control as well as clinical treatment. They answered dozens of questions on virology, protection for medical personnel, targeted prevention and control, entry inspection and quarantine, therapeutic drugs and research and development of vaccines. After in-depth exchange, it was agreed to enhance communication and deepen cooperation to fight the epidemic.

The Chinese side stressed at the meeting that with President Xi Jinping at the helm, the situation in China has sustained a positive momentum and normal work and life is resuming quickly. As fellow developing countries, China relates deeply to the difficulties posed by the epidemic to Pacific island countries. Our hearts are with them. We will provide them with necessary assistance to the best of our capabilities as the situation develops.

Officials and experts from Pacific island countries at the meeting praised China's contribution to global public health security and commended China's experience which has set an exemplary standard for their response. They thanked the Chinese side for its initiative in holding the conference, which gave them timely and important help in mounting an effective response at home.

Fijian medical expert and officials attend the video conference in the Chinese Embassy in Fiji on Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. James Fong, Head of department Obstetrics and Gynaecology in CWM Hospital and General Manager of the COVID-19 Incident Management Team, was excited to attend the video conference. He applauded China for sharing its experience and keeping away the virus from countries like Fiji. "We really appreciate the fact that China has not only given us more time to prepare for dealing with the virus, but they also shared their fighting with us, so now we have more time and more knowledge to prepare for it, " he said.

Dr. James Fong speaks at a video conference on COVID-19 in the Chinese Embassy in Fiji. (Xinhua/Zhang Yongxing)

"I think the best way for us to fight the virus is we just use the lessons China is teaching us. China has told us a lot about how to contain the virus and China has also reinstated our faith that public health measures work. Many of us started to feel our public health measures not really very useful, but China has just made it more obvious that public health measures do work," Dr. Fong said.

He urged the international community to work together in fighting against the virus, saying "I definitely think that to fight the virus is not only for China, but also for the whole world. The most important thing now is to join hands to combat the virus. China has prevented it and delayed it from transmitting to us and shared a lot of its lessons with us. And to me this is very important."

Since the epidemic broke out, China has been active in international cooperation, sharing the latest information with countries and regions including Pacific island countries and responding to concerns in an open, transparent and highly responsible manner to safeguard regional and international public health security. Governments and people of Pacific island countries also expressed support for China's fight against COVID-19 and offered assistance, for which we are very grateful.

With the epidemic breaking out in multiple places around the world and spreading to wider areas, it is all the more important to enhance international cooperation in prevention and control. China attaches high importance to the challenges faced by Pacific island countries in this area. We are ready to help them to the best of our capabilities to defeat the disease together and foster a community with a shared future for mankind.

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