China is one of the few counties that have been on the forefront in helping Sierra Leone fight the COVID-19 pandemic. As a country facing economic challenges, Sierra Leone is facing challenges to obtain significant financial funds to fight the disease, but China has stood behind the country, offering the much-needed assistance that has helped strengthen the country’s response to the pandemic. As of 9th July, the country’s COVID-19 cases stood at 1,584, including 63 deaths and 1,122 recoveries. China was the first country to extend a helping hand, well before the country had recorded its first case in late March.
Chinese companies operating in the country also identified themselves with the government to support them in the Coronavirus fight as well as their personnel working in the hospitals treating COVID patients. The Jui Hospital, 34 Military Hospital and the Jui lab have been in the forefront of the COVID fight and the Chinese Embassy have received seven batches of supplies from China to aid the government in the fight.
Dr Jiang, the team leader of the Jui treatment centre, said even though their time was up to return back to China after working in Sierra Leone for one year, they are happy to continue to work and save lives because that is their job and they would not want to see any Sierra Leonean lose his or her life. “We are now able to manage some of the critically ill patients. We are happy that we have the support of the Government and our Embassy as we work round the clock to save lives. We will continue to work until COVID is defeated in the country.”
Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation also chipped in with a huge consignment of medical supplies to help Sierra Leone with laboratory diagnostic test kits, medical facemasks and protective suits and face shields. Ambassador Hu said amid the COVID-19 pandemic, China-Sierra Leone ties continue to blossom as evidenced by the two countries’ joint fight against the disease.
“It is truly gratifying to see that under the enormous stress of COVID-19, China-Sierra Leone friendship is standing stronger ever.” The Minister of Foreign Affairs said the support from China is unprecedented and they will forever be grateful for all the support they have received. “Even when they too are fighting the virus they still find time to help others morally and with medical supplies. We adore them and we will continue to work with them as they have never relented or renege towards us.” President Bio also hailed China for its assistance to Sierra Leone in fighting the pandemic, noting that Sierra Leone is prepared to handle COVID-19 cases due to support from China, among other donors.
“We remain most grateful for the assistance that continues to be extended to us by the Government of China towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”