ISLAMABAD, March 29: A special plane from China carrying a team of eight medical experts and relief assistance landed here on Saturday to help Pakistan to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected over 1,400 people in the country, the Pakistani foreign ministry said.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood welcomed the Chinese guests at the Islamabad airport.
"The Chinese medical team will be in Pakistan for two weeks," the Foreign Office said.
The team of eight medical experts will assist Pakistani doctors and health experts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, it said.
The Foreign Office said Pakistan's all-weather ally China has extended full support to the country in its fight against the deadly viral infection.
"China's assistance to Pakistan so far includes 12,000 test kits, 3,00,000 masks, 10,000 protective suits, and support to build an isolation hospital," it said.
A considerable amount of donations from private sources from China has also arrived in Pakistan.
Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation have donated 50,000 test kits and 5,00,000 face masks, the Foreign Office said.
"The Pakistan-China All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership has acquired greater strength and depth in recent years, guided by the shared vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and (Chinese) President Xi Jinping," it said, adding that the two countries will continue to collaborate closely and coordinate relief assistance to counter the formidable challenges posed by COVID-19.
The Foreign Office said Qureshi thanked the Chinese government for its timely support in this difficult time.
The novel coronavirus, which first originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year, has wreaked havoc across the globe, upending life and businesses.
The deadly virus has so far claimed over 28,200 lives and infected over 613,000 people across 199 countries and territories.
Italy has the highest number of deaths at 9,134, followed by Spain at 5,690 and China 3,174.
The United States leads in the number of COVID-19 cases with 104,007 infections confirmed so far, followed by Italy at 86,498 and China over 81,900 cases. - PTI