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China committed to combating health threat facing mankind

International Cooperation

China has extended a helping hand to many countries in need in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, putting into practice how a world community works towards a shared future, especially in achieving common health for mankind.

XinhuaUpdated: March 24, 2020

At the Phnom Penh international airport on Monday, a seven-member expert team from China, carrying with them tons of medical supplies, were warmly greeted by Cambodian top officials as well as people waving the flags of the two countries.

A team of Chinese medical experts arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, March 23, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The medical team added to China's recent medical support to countries in need -- such as Iran, Serbia and Italy -- in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the port city of Padova in northern Italy, a Chinese medical squad of nine people, wearing masks as well as vests in red and white with Red Cross logo, were working to an extremely tight schedule to grasp the situation there and offer medical guidance.

Their work was recorded in vlogs and diaries of Grandesso Federico, an Italian national residing in Padova.

"The Chinese team's visit to Italy is not only important from the scientific side, but also from the human point of view: to be allied against this major illness is to be allied against a major enemy of the mankind," Giampiero Rupolo, president of the Italian Red Cross Padova Committee, told Federico in a vlog.

Members of the second batch of the Chinese medical team along with local people hold a banner reading "We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden" and pose for a group photo after they arrived at Milan Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy, March 18, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Timely support

The Chinese medical team first arrived in Rome, the first leg of their journey in Italy. After staying in Padova, it continued the northward journey to the hardest-hit region of Lombardy, where more doctors sent by China joined the battle against the COVID-19 epidemic.

Yang Huichuan, a team member, was impressed with a note in his hotel room on his first night in Rome. "We stand together, we fight together, we will win together," it read.

On March 12, the team, organized by the National Health Commission and the Red Cross Society of China, came in the nick of time with tons of medical supplies including ventilators, monitors and defibrillators.

Right on the next day, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Europe had become the epicenter of a coronavirus pandemic with Italy being the hardest-hit country in the region.

Upon the team's arrival in Italy, China had come out of the most arduous stage with daily new confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland dropping to a single digit for the first time. Beijing, in the spirit of solidarity and common health, has since sent more medical staff and supplies to other countries struggling to contain the epidemic.

The Chinese medical staff started their daily routines with an internal meeting at 7 a.m., and held a meeting until around 10 p.m. after returning to hotel earlier in the evening. They shared with Italian colleagues the sixth version of China's COVID-19 treatment guidelines and the seventh version of its diagnosis and treatment scheme.

"The Italian side asked us a lot of questions, and we often had longer discussions than we initially planned," Yang said. "We want to share the achievements we have made, and lessons we have learned, to help Italy better deal with the situation."

The team also spent time "strengthening people's confidence in home quarantine." Days later when they passed through the usually bustling areas in Rome, they seldom saw any pedestrians and vehicles.

They also taught the public via a live-stream how to better protect themselves, including the seven-step hand-washing method. "It's the simplest thing, but a key way to guard against the virus," said Tang Menglin, a head nurse from China's Sichuan Province, whose special affection for Italian doctors dating back to 12 years ago brought her to the frontline in Italy.

"As a Sichuanese, I'm fortunate to be here to repay Italians' kindness when we were in trouble," said Tang.

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