Roundup: Solidarity, cooperation with China highlighted in Africa's fight against COVID-19
ADDIS ABABA, June 18 (Xinhua) -- With Africa's COVID-19 caseload close to 260,000, the importance of global solidarity and cooperation against the pandemic is once again highlighted in an urgent way.
China, which is also fighting COVID-19 at home, is intensifying its efforts with African countries as well as regional and continental organizations in support of Africa's fight against the pandemic.
As of Wednesday morning, a total of 259,036 COVID-19 cases have been reported in 54 African countries with 6,999 deaths, accounting for about 3.2 percent of all cases reported globally, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU).
To jointly fight the pandemic in the continent, Chinese and African leaders on Wednesday held the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 to deepen cooperation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the summit, which was held via video link and was jointly proposed by China, South Africa, the rotating chair of the African Union (AU), and Senegal, the co-chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also attended the summit as special guests.
During the past few months, massive medical supplies donated by the Chinese government arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, including facial masks, disposable protective clothing, forehead thermometers, protective goggles, gloves and shoe covers for medical use, as well as sophisticated medical equipment.
In addition, Chinese companies and civil organizations also provided urgently-needed supplies to Africa.
On March 22, the first batch of medical supplies donated by China's Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation arrived in Africa, including 5.4 million face masks, 1.08 million detection test kits, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields.
China has promised to enhance its support for Africa's anti-pandemic fight, continue to donate medical supplies as much as possible, expand bilateral cooperation on medical technologies and send more medical teams to the continent, according to the white paper titled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action," which was released by China's State Council on June 7.
At the virtual summit, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali emphasized the need to strengthen solidarity among African countries and China in the anti-pandemic battle.
"Solidarity has been key between China and African countries during these unprecedented times," the Ethiopian Prime Minister's office quoted Ali as saying.
Recalling the eight major initiatives announced by Xi during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was held in September 2018, Ali also called for the initiative to give priority to health care.
Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, an economic advisor to the AU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), told Xinhua that China has transformed the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity to strengthen global cooperation and solidarity.
Costantinos, also a professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, stressed that despite criticism from some countries, China is "an able and willing partner of Africa" and Africa can learn from China's pandemic management system. Enditem