By China Daily Global
China’s COVID-19 containment strategy has helped save millions of lives, and it has been one of the leading nations to mobilize support in preventing and mitigating the scourge of diseases and epidemics globally, Zimbabwe’s top diplomat to Beijing said.
In an interview with China Daily, Zimbabwean Ambassador Martin Chedondo said that China’s COVID-19 response over the past three years has “ensured the orderly and safe resumption of normal life that we are currently enjoying today”.
China was the first country to send a medical team to assist Zimbabwe in developing COVID-19 policies and strategies to mitigate the impact of the disease on the southern African nation, Chedondo said.
“Zimbabwe’s successful containment of the COVID-19 pandemic is greatly owed to the sacrifice and positive role played by the medical team from China,” he said.
China’s leading role in combating the pandemic was “a clear demonstration” that the country was “committed to ensuring a global community of health for all” as envisioned by President Xi Jinping, he added.
Chedondo praised Beijing’s decision to declare all COVID-19 supplies public goods, and the subsequent donation of domestically developed vaccines worth $2 billion. He said that China sent medical supplies to many countries across the world “at a time when other nations were hoarding vaccines”.
“Its active participation at multilateral forums, such as the World Health Organization, has contributed to the setting up of international norms on global health matters,” he said.
China has employed various mechanisms to provide human and financial resources, medical facilities and equipment, and medicines and vaccines for economically weak countries, especially in Africa, he said.
The envoy also spoke highly of China’s commitment to helping African nations bolster their level of healthcare.
In November 2021, Beijing announced a decision to donate 600 million vaccine doses and offer another 400 million doses via joint production by Chinese and local firms to aid the COVID-19 fight in Africa. This was in addition to a plan to help African countries implement 10 health programs, and send 1,500 medical workers and public health experts to the continent.
“The level of health cooperation between China and Africa has been described by many as excellent, and the statistics speak for themselves,” Chedondo said.
Citing the China-aided new headquarters of the African Union Centres for Disease Control and Prevention as an example, he said that such projects “attests to the level of cooperation in the health sector between China and Africa”.
“China has signed numerous bilateral and regional cooperation agreements covering various aspects of health,” he said, adding that the pairing of Chinese provinces with individual African countries has also broadened the scope of cooperation in the health sector.