MANILA — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar thanked the Chinese government for sending a team of medical experts and a fresh batch of supplies to help address the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.
“We give our deepest gratitude to China for extending its assistance to the Philippines in its collective fight against the Covid-19 disease, by sending a team, composed of 10 medical experts and two officials, that can share technical knowledge in dealing with the disease,” he said in a statement.
He said the Chinese government also donated 300,000 surgical masks, 30,000 medical N95 masks, 5,000 medical protective suits, 5,000 medical face shields, and 30 non-invasive ventilators.
“The help given by China and that of other countries has strongly shown that the Philippines is not alone in facing this virus and in working to flatten the curve of its spread, it has the help and the support of the global community,” he added.
Globally, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has surpassed 1 million, while over 50,000 people have died from the disease which originated in Wuhan City in Hubei province, China.
In the Philippines, there are a total of 3,246 total cases with 152 deaths as of April 5.
Earlier, Peace Adviser and chief implementer of the National Action Policy against Covid-19 Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government is looking to start mass testing on April 14.
The PCOO chief, meanwhile, urged the public to support global efforts to address the pandemic by adhering to all preventive measures and the guidelines set by the government under the enhanced community quarantine.
In a tweet, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Sunday welcomed 10 medical experts and two officials to “share technical advice” to prevent the spread of the disease.
Locsin, in his Twitter account, thanked the Chinese government for sending experts who have “invaluable first-hand experiences” to share in responding to the health crisis.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, in an interview with government media, said the country’s pool of medical professionals will greatly benefit from the experience of the medical team who took the heat of the pandemic.
“They have a lot of good practices, if not, best-practices, when they manage their patients, the Covid-19 patients, in Wuhan and Hubei,” Duque added.
He said the Chinese medical experts would be visiting hospitals with the Department of Health (DOH) staff to conduct training and clarified that their task here was “purely advisory.”
“It is really guiding how to improve, level-up our Covid-19 response, learn different levels of surveillance, risk-assessment, isolation strategies, detection through accurate testing, clinical case management, and non-pharmaceutical public health measures,” he said. (PNA)