The first Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the Solomon Islands His Excellency Mr. Li Ming paid a courtesy visit to the Health Minister last week at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS).
At the meeting, the Ambassador acknowledged the work done so far by the Ministry of Health, as the lead government agency in the fight against Covid-19 while stating that China has always been pleased to provide support in this regard.
With this, the Ambassador briefly outlined PRC’s support.
“Honorable Minster, the government of China by far has provided 350 thousand US dollars funding support to Solomon Islands through the China-Pacific Islands Covid-19 response fund. China has helped built the first nucleic acid testing laboratory in the country, provided more than 4000 test kits and 200,000 personal protective equipment to Solomon Islands.
He added that the assistance from China has gone far beyond fund and medical material support. “During the past several months, China had also hosted Vice Minister’s Special meeting on Covid-19 and medical experts’ conference via video link with Pacific Islands Countries including Solomon Islands to coordinate policies and exchange experiences on battling the pandemic.
Mr. Li Ming reassured of China’s commitment to deepen its cooperation with Solomon Islands, “China is committed to deepen its cooperation with Solomon Islands to continue fight against this pandemic. China honors its commitment and never pays lip service when it comes to mutual assistance. I am convinced China and Solomon Islands will ultimately defeat the virus and our two peoples are poised to embrace better days ahead”.
Responding to the Ambassador, Health Minister Dr. Culwick Togamana thanked the Ambassador for the courtesy call and acknowledged the support rendered by China in the country’s efforts against the pandemic.
“Your kind assistance as outlined is truly appreciated as it has greatly enabled the Ministry of Health to enhance its capacity and capabilities to respond to Covid-19 as we are doing now. The ability and capability to detect, isolate and contain the entry of the virus into the country is also due to your wonderful support”,
He added, “We also look forward towards continuous technical support and expert advice from China as China has successfully managed to swiftly curb and contain the virus and become the first major economy that recovers from the economic impacts of Covid compared to many other countries across the world”. The meeting also had the duo further discussing current health priority areas some of which included the upgrade of the National Referral Hospital (NRH), rural health clinics, Covid-19 isolation wards and so forth to further boost health response to the global pandemic as well as strengthening national health systems.
The meeting concluded with a brief ceremony of handing over of 15,000 facial masks, 8000 donated by Jia Shu Rong trading company, a privately owned Chinese company in Solomon Islands and 7000 donated by Guangdong Provincial Government of China.