Members of the Chinese medical team attend a briefing session with DOH officials at the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) headquarters in Manila, the Philippines, on April 6, 2020. The medical expert team sent by the Chinese government arrived in Manila on Sunday to assist and advise the Philippines in its ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. The 12-member Chinese anti-epidemic medical expert team comprises medical experts in the fields of infectious disease prevention and control, clinic treatment, and laboratory testing. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
MANILA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The medical expert team sent by the Chinese government arrived in Manila on Sunday to assist and advise the Philippines in its ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The 12-member Chinese anti-epidemic medical expert team comprises medical experts in the fields of infectious disease prevention and control, clinic treatment, and laboratory testing.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said the team, which arrived on a chartered flight, is among the first three teams sent by China to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
Huang said in a statement that most of the team members have had frontline experience in fighting against the epidemic.
Huang expressed hope that "the arrival of this team will help the Philippines improve its ability of epidemic prevention and control as well as diagnosis and treatment, so as to boost the confidence of the public in overcoming the COVID-19."
Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin and Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque were on hand to welcome the Chinese team.
Locsin and Duque thanked China for its help to the Philippines in combating the fast-spreading viral disease.
"To the Chinese people, thank you so much! We are so grateful because this is a new virus, and the only ones who can really tell us how to handle it are those who fought it on the ground and those are the experts in China," Locsin told Xinhua, adding China's gesture is "deeply appreciated, (and) never be forgotten."
Duque said the Philippines is grateful to the Chinese government and its people for "their benevolence, their generosity," adding the Philippines will benefit from the support.
Besides dispatching the medical expert team, China also donated to the Philippines a new batch of medical supplies, including 300,000 surgical masks, 30,000 medical N95 masks, 5,000 medical protective suits, 5,000 medical face shields, and 30 non-invasive ventilators.
"Virus respects no borders. We always say that a friend in need is a friend indeed. During the time of crisis, the Chinese government and people feel keenly for the health and safety of the Filipino people," Ambassador Huang said.
Huang said that since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Philippines in early March, China has been providing support and assistance to the Philippines to the best of its ability.
As of Sunday, the Philippines said it has tallied 3,246 COVID-19 cases, including 152 deaths and 64 recoveries.