China appreciates India's offer of help to fight virus

China appreciates India's offer of help to fight coronavirus epidemic

People wearing protective facemasks queue to order food from a stall in Shanghai on February 14, 2020. - Youan Hospital is one of twenty hospitals in Beijing treating coronavirus patients. AFP

China said on Friday it appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's offer to provide support and help in its fight against the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the country.

China's statement came as the foreign ministry released a list of 33 countries that provided medical supplies and assistance to Beijing to combat the epidemic that has claimed nearly 1,500 lives and infected over 60,000 others.

During an online media briefing here on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said China welcomed and thank the international community, the developing countries in particular, for their sincere support and friendly assistance.

At the same time, he said: "China mainly relies on its own strength to tackle the epidemic. We are confident and capable of doing this".

"According to what we have learned from diplomatic channels, as of February 14, 12 pm, altogether 33 foreign governments and four international organisations have provided China with medical supplies.

Geng named the countries that have provided the assistance and also nations that have announced that they will offer help to Beijing. The foreign ministry also named those countries who have offered financial and material support to China.

In a written response to PTI after the briefing, Geng said China appreciates India's offer to help Beijing in fight against the epidemic.

"The Indian side highly appreciates the strong measures taken by the Chinese government to deal with the epidemic. China appreciates India's willingness to provide support and help to China in the fight against the epidemic," Geng said.

On February 9, Prime Minister Modi wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping, offering India's assistance to China to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

In his letter, Modi expressed solidarity with Xi and the people of China over the virus outbreak in the country.

On Monday, Geng said, "We thank and appreciate India's support for China's fight against the NCP Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia. India's acts of goodwill fully demonstrate its friendship with China."

Later, Indian officials said they were in touch with the Chinese government to find out China's requirements.

Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri said India had sent about 40 boxes of medical supplies in the second special flight which went to the virus-hit Wuhan to pick up the stranded Indians on February 1.

The coronavirus toll currently stands at 1,488 with 121 deaths reported on Friday.

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