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Nigeria appreciates Chinese support in COVID-19 fight

Mo Jingxi
Updated: May 09,2020 09:10    China Daily

China has provided strong support and assistance to Nigeria in the African nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Baba Ahmad Jidda, Nigeria's ambassador to China.

To date, the Chinese government has donated two batches of medical supplies to Nigeria, including medical protective suits, KN95 masks, medical gloves and infrared thermometers.

Last month, a 15-member team, including 12 medical workers, from China arrived in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, to assist in tackling the spread of the contagion.

Chinese companies and businessmen have also donated medical supplies to Nigeria, the ambassador said.

"The support has demonstrated clear evidence of true friendship and solidarity between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the People's Republic of China," Jidda said.

As of May 7, Nigeria had reported 3,145 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 103 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. It is one of the most severely affected countries in Africa.

Jidda added that Nigeria still needs support from outside in fighting the pandemic.

"Since China has done very well for itself in containing the virus, it will therefore be helpful for China to share information and experiences from her response with Nigeria as well as provide necessary support including more medical supplies and equipment, especially ventilators and testing kits, to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

The Nigerian ambassador said that China's response to the outbreak was quite rigorous and comprehensive.

The pandemic has generated concern and panic not only among Chinese citizens, but also within foreign communities living in China, he said, and the Nigerian embassy in particular is concerned about Nigerian students and other Nigerians living in Hubei province's Wuhan-the hardest-hit city in China.

"The rigorous prevention and control measures put in place by China, including the total lockdown of Wuhan and subsequently the entirety of Hubei province, demonstrated China's commitment and determination to contain the spread of the virus both within and outside the country," he said.

During the 76-day lockdown in Wuhan, none of the city's 79 Nigerians-including 50 students-were infected, Zhou Pingjian, Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, said recently.

Jidda clarified that the initial challenges faced by Nigerians and other Africans in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, last month as a result of the implementation of COVID-19 anti-epidemic measures were due to lack of communication between the African consulates and local authorities in Guangzhou.

Misinformation posted on social media platforms about the situation in Guangzhou has been counterproductive to Sino-African relations, he said.

"I am happy that those peddling such misinformation about the situation have stopped and things are getting back to normal."

The ambassador also underlined the importance of international cooperation and solidarity to help countries all over the world win the battle against the pandemic.

"The virus is not a respecter of persons, races or borders. No one country can do it alone," he said, adding that the importance of upholding the commitment to a shared future for mankind in the face of global crisis cannot be overemphasized.
"As the virus spreads around the world, joint efforts and enhanced international cooperation will really help quicken global victory against the pandemic," he added.