The cooperation between Ethiopia and China to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the African continent is bearing positive results, an Ethiopian official said on Thursday.
Speaking to Xinhua, the CEO of Ethiopia’s flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Tewolde Gebremariam, said the airlines has recently distributed several batches of Chinese donated COVID-19 medical supplies to more than 50 African countries.
“ET has fulfilled the need for speedy transportation of COVID-19 medical supplies across the African continent, distributing COVID-19 Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs) donated by the Jack Ma foundation to 51 countries in a span of just five days,”.
“The investment we made in the Ethiopian Airlines cargo facility in Addis Ababa and aircraft fleet is helping not only Ethiopia but the entire continent of Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gebremariam.
Gebremariam said the assistance from the Chinese government and Chinese private enterprises extends to helping the airlines transport COVID-19 medical supplies from their Chinese source to the African continent.
“The Chinese government and Chinese private enterprise are supporting us very well. We’re delivering much needed medical supplies to African countries from China,”.
“We’re currently transporting COVID-19 medical supplies from Chinese destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing to their final destinations in the African continent,” Gebremariam told Xinhua.
Speaking to Xinhua, Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia Minister of Finance, said the anti-COVID-19 cooperation is helping to save lives and livelihoods across the African continent.
“Ethiopia is taking leadership not only to fight COVID-19 internally, but also to facilitate continent wide anti-COVID-19 efforts to get proper support internationally”.
“That partnership championed by PM Abiy Ahmed has got a positive response from the likes of Jack Ma foundation and Alibaba foundation and is delivering positive results,” Shide told Xinhua.
Shide also applauded Chinese firms based in Ethiopia’s Hawassa Industrial Park for starting to produce COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs).
The Hawassa Industrial Park, which the Ethiopian government considers as its flagship industrial park in its ambition to transform the country as the manufacturing hub of the African continent by the year 2025, was built by Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and completed back in 2016 in just nine months of construction period.
Ethiopia has recorded 831 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday afternoon of which six have ended in deaths so far.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation with about 107 million people, confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 13.
The Ethiopian government has instituted a wide range of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In April, the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives announced a five-month state of emergency to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country.