China on Saturday dispatched an eight-member medical team to Pakistan to help “iron brother” Islamabad cope with the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Chinese foreign ministry announced Saturday afternoon.
The Chinese medical experts left for Pakistan a day after China handed over medical supplies to Pakistan at the high-altitude Khunjerab pass in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK).
The mountainous pass in PoK borders the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China.
Islamabad opened up the PoK border to strategic ally China as the outbreak began to take a toll on its medical infrastructure.
Reports from Pakistan said the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country rose to 1,408 on Saturday with 11 deaths; the number of infected rose sharply by more than 100 from the day before.
“Nearly two tons of medical supplies from China were successfully handed over to Pakistan on Friday at the Khunjerab pass in north Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region to help the country fight Covid-19,” the official Xinhua news agency said in a report.
“The medical supplies including ventilators, face masks, protective clothes and testing kits were donated by the government of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said the embassy, adding that the total value of the supplies is 2.778 million yuan (about 391,500 U.S. dollars),” the Xinhua reported, giving details.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang said the medical experts’ team has left for Pakistan on Saturday afternoon.
The main task of the expert group is to share experiences and exchanges with local hospitals and experts, introduce China’s anti-epidemic experience to Pakistan, and provide consultations on the prevention and control of the epidemic situation.
Meanwhile, the Chinese health authorities on Saturday reported no new domestically transmitted cases of Covid-19 in the mainland.
The national health commission (NHC) received reports of 54 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Friday, all of which were imported.
By the end of Friday, 649 imported cases had been reported, said the commission.
The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 81,394 by the end of Friday, including 3,128 patients who were still being treated, 74,971 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 3,295 people who died of the disease.
All three new deaths were reported from the central Chinese province of Hubei.