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Saudi Arabia, China sign deal to expand coronavirus testing

Updated: Apr 27,2020 09:09 AM    Xinhua

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia and China signed a deal on April 26 for expanding coronavirus testing capacity.

The deal not only highlights the tradition and commitment of mutual assistance between China and Saudi Arabia, but also represents a good start for the further development of healthcare cooperation between the two countries, said Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing at a signing ceremony held in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia.

Chen pointed out that when completed, the project will significantly enhance the Saudi capacity in virus detection and contribute to the Saudi people's fight against the pandemic.

The genes of solidarity and cooperation are inherited in the traditional culture of and friendship between the Chinese and Saudi peoples, Chen said. "We are confident that, with close cooperation and joint efforts, we will overcome the pandemic and usher in a brighter and better future."

According to the Saudi Press Agency, under the deal, worth 995 million Saudi riyals ($265 million), China will provide 9 million COVID-19 tests and necessary devices and supplies, as well as 500 Chinese medical experts to conduct the tests and train Saudi medics.

Meanwhile, Saudi Health Ministry announced on April 26 the registration of 1,223 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number to 17,522. It also registered three deaths to increase the fatalities to 139 cases.