Chinese medical experts arrive in Cambodia to help fight outbreak

Chinese medical experts on the coronavirus walking from the plane upon arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday (March 23). Chinese medical experts arrived in Cambodia to help local authorities deal with the virus. - AFP

PHNOM PENH: A team of Chinese medical experts arrived in Cambodia on Monday morning to help the country fight the Covid-19 (coronavirus) and they received a warm welcome from Cambodian officials and well-wishers.

Their arrival was live broadcast on local TV channels, including the state-run National Television of Cambodia (TVK), the official Facebook page of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, and leading online news provider Fresh News, among others.

Landing at the Phnom Penh International Airport via a special chartered plane, the seven-member expert team was cordially greeted by Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.

Dozens of well-wishers also welcomed them at the airport by waving the flags of Cambodia and China when they walked down from the plane.

At the airport, the Chinese experts posed for group photos with Bunheng and Wang as well as others, with two banners writing that "A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed" and "Lancang-Mekong Has Only One Origin, China and Cambodia Have Only One Heart."

According to a Cambodian Ministry of Health's press release, the expert team, from south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, came over with tons of medical supplies including ventilators, medical masks, protective suits, test kits, and infrared temperature sensors.

With experience in containing the spread of the outbreak in China, the Chinese experts are expected to provide valuable advices to their Cambodian counterparts to fight the virus effectively.

Speaking briefly to reporters at the welcoming ceremony, Bunheng said the Chinese medical team came to Cambodia at the request of the Cambodian government and they would stay here for two weeks to aid Cambodia to contain the virus spread.

"We are ready to cooperate with the Chinese medical team to fight the Covid-19," he said. "This is a symbol of friendship, solidarity, and brotherhood between the peoples of China and Cambodia."

The minister, on behalf of the Cambodian government, expressed his profound gratitude to the Chinese government for sending the medical team and medical supplies to Cambodia, saying that the assistance was very valuable.

Chheang Vannarith, president of the Asian Vision Institute, said since Cambodia lacks resources in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its healthcare system is relatively weak, China's aid is crucial to stem the virus spread.

"Cambodia alone cannot contain and mitigate the pandemic. Therefore, international support is necessary," he said.

"China can play a critical role in assisting Cambodia to fight against the virus, both in terms of expertise and the supply of medical equipment such as test kits, ventilators, and protective gears for medical staff." - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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