Italian FM hails China's move of sending expert team, medical supplies-Xinhua

Italian FM hails China's move of sending expert team, medical supplies

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-13 22:40:04

ROME, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio early on Friday praised the initiative of China sending a team of medical experts and medical supplies here to assist the country in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

A group of nine professionals, aboarding a China Eastern airlines Airbus A-350, arrived at the Fiumicino airport here on Thursday evening.

The news of their arrival was widely reported across Italian media on Friday. The initiative was seen as a solid proof of solidarity, as Di Maio highlighted in a long video message on social media posted shortly after the arrival.

"Many countries have called us, many foreign ministers have expressed solidarity and promised to give us a hand through their companies producing medical machinery," Di Maio said on Facebook, while speaking from his office in the early hours of Friday.

He showed from his own computer footage of the Chinese medical team disembarking during the night, welcomed by Chinese Ambassador to Italy Li Junhua and an Italian Red Cross delegation.

"This plane just landed a few minutes ago... this is the medical staff, the specialized doctors who have faced the COVID-19 emergency in China, and will now provide our staff with valuable information."

"This is what we call solidarity," Di Maio stressed. "I am confident more aid will come... Tonight, I just wanted to tell you all that we are not alone."

The team was organized by the National Health Commission and the Red Cross Society of China. It is the third expert team sent abroad by Chinese authorities following previous teams sent to Iran and Iraq.

The expert corps departed from Shanghai earlier Thursday, and all the team members and flight crew had passed health checks before boarding the plane, according to the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.

They took with them more than 700 pieces of equipment and goods including ventilators, monitors and defibrillators. "We bring here 30 sets of ICU equipment," one of the team members wearing a mask told media after getting off the plane.

Italy is under complete lockdown since Tuesday, with a total closure of venues and activities but for those providing basic supplies and services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, public transports, post offices, and banks.

According to the latest available data updated Thursday evening, the number of people tested positive for the COVID-19 in Italy reached 12,839, with death toll at 1,016 and recoveries at 1,258.


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