A team of Chinese medical experts, along with medical materials, arrived in Lao capital Vientiane by a chartered plane Sunday morning to assist Laos in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Somdy Douangdy, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and chair of the Task Force Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, and Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong received the Chinese medical experts at the Wattay International Airport in Vientiane.
The Chinese medical team includes experts in various fields such as infection prevention and control, intensive care, epidemics, and laboratory testing. They also brought along medical supplies.
The team came to Laos less than five days after the Lao side announced its first two confirmed COVID-19 cases and asked for assistance from China.
Laos has detected eight confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Saturday afternoon.
When welcoming the Chinese experts, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somdy said that the Lao side is heartfully grateful for the Chinese medical expert team's coming only five days after Laos confirmed COVID-19 cases. China's gesture reflects the profound friendship from the Chinese side to the Lao people, he said.
The medical team, made up of top experts in China's southwestern Yunnan Province, brought Chinese experiences and solutions to Laos' epidemic prevention and control, said the Lao deputy prime minister, adding that the Lao government will coordinate and ensure all possible conveniences for the Chinese medical expert team.
Somdy said the Lao side will make full use of the intellectual support and material assistance brought by the Chinese side, and will try its best to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
"A friend in need is a friend indeed," Jiang Zaidong said, adding that China will not forget in the early days of the outbreak when Laos donated money and multiple batches of anti-epidemic materials to China, and tried its best to successfully organize the China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Coronavirus Disease in Vientiane.
The Chinese people are always ready to return the kindness, said Jiang. Currently, the number of confirmed cases in Laos is increasing, and the pressure on prevention and control is rising. As a community with a shared future, China will go through the difficulties with the Lao people, jointly strengthen epidemic prevention and control, and steadily push forward bilateral cooperation, the ambassador said.
Huang Xingli, the head of the Chinese medical expert team, said to Xinhua on arrival that the main tasks of the expert team are to share experiences and exchange with Lao local hospitals and experts, to introduce China's anti-epidemic experience, to provide consultation to the Lao side on epidemic prevention and control, diagnosis and treatment and laboratory work, and to provide training and guidance for the Lao medical staff and community staff.
Along with the team also came medical treatment, medical supplies including medicines, nucleic acid testing kits, 10,560 N95 masks, 60,000 medical masks and 6,000 protective suits donated by China's Yunnan Province.