RIYADH: Saudi Arabia signed six contracts on Thursday to provide medical assistance to China as it attempts to combat the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) is overseeing the provision of assistance in coordination with the Chinese Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
The project will provide 1,159 medical devices, including ultrasound machines, non-invasive ventilators, defibrillators, monitors, infusion pumps, injection pumps and continuous renal replacement therapy.
Protective medical masks and isolation suits will also be provided, including 300,000 N95 masks and 1,000 other important materials used in such crises.
“This initiative reflects the strong (and longstanding) relationship between Saudi Arabia and China”, said Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of KSRelief. “The Kingdom strives to fight crises facing countries and communities. It is always aiming to support stability and sustainable development around the world.”
Al-Rabeeah told Arab News: "These six agreements to provide China with medical equipment, diagnostic, curative, and preventive supplies, and protective clothes, are all based on the request of the Government of China.
“King Salman responded immediately, and the center managed to provide those supplies in a very short time, at a time when most countries (are not able to do so), and these items will be delivered within five days."
On February 10, King Salman directed KSrelief to do all it could to assist the Chinese authorities and provide urgent support.
The Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH) has confirmed on Twitter that no cases of novel Coronavirus have yet been recorded in Saudi Arabia, and that precautionary measures are being implemented at all ports to prevent the virus from entering the Kingdom.
In an emotional address, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing said: "I (offer my) deep gratitude. Currently, the Chinese people are doing their utmost to fight against the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP), and — at such a critical moment — King Salman telephoned President Xi Jinping, expressing his firm support and his instructions to KSRelief to provide emergency medical supplies to China.
"This aid will surely bring a ‘timely rain’ to the medical staff and people in Wuhan and some other affected areas," Weiqing continued. "It reflects the sincere friendship of the Saudi government and people towards the Chinese government and people. It is you who brought love to the hearts of the Chinese people."
He also stressed the need for the international community to act together in the best interests of everyone. “Today, I come with a message of unity. In the era of globalization, public health security bears on the common destiny of mankind,” he said, adding that “solidarity” is the best way to face such medical challenges.