Ethiopia lauds China's support in fighting coronavirus

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ADDIS ABABA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Thursday commended China for its support in containing the spread of COVID-19 in Ethiopia and other African countries.

"I thank the Chinese experts and the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia for sharing valuable experience to help enhance the efforts being implemented and improve the capacity of Africa in containing the COVID-19," Ethiopian Minister of Health Lia Tadesse said in a statement.

The health minister also lauded China's BGI Group, a leading life science and genomics organization, for donating some 1,000 COVID-19 testing kits to the Ethiopian Public Health Institute and the country's Ministry of Health.

The east African country has so far confirmed six COVID-19 cases. On Tuesday, a 59-year-old female British diplomat became the latest victim of the virus in the country, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.

"China will continue offering as much help as possible based on African countries' needs. Working with the African side, we will continue implementing our goals in the health sector under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation framework, improving the capacity of Africa CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and enhancing African countries' capabilities to mitigate and contain the disease," the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We have delivered a batch of testing reagents for African countries via the Africa CDC and emergency supplies to countries affected. Our medical teams are also assisting them in fighting the epidemics on the continent," said the statement.

"While continuing our fight against the disease at home, China will support and help African countries and regional organizations to the best of our ability," it added.

Chinese companies and civil organizations also provided urgently needed supplies to Ethiopia and other African countries, the statement said.

Ethiopia, Africa's second populous nation with a population of 107 million, confirmed its first COVID-19 case on March 13.

On Sunday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his country has formed partnership with Alibaba Group, China's e-commerce giant, to curb the spread of the virus.

Ahmed said that the partnership agreement was reached during talks with Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma on Sunday morning.

"Ensuring COVID-19 preparedness in Africa is critical," Ahmed said. "Ethiopia has great appreciation to Jack Ma for distributing up to 20,000 COVID-19 testing kits and more than 100,000 masks to the east African country." Enditem

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