China sends medical experts, additional supplies to help PH combat COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 5)— The Chinese government has sent in a team of medical experts— as well as a fresh batch of medical supply donations— to help the Philippines combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foreign Affairs Department said Sunday.

The group, composed of 10 medical professionals and two Chinese officials, was welcomed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Sunday afternoon, DFA said.

The team— which held out a banner saying "Laban Pilipinas" (Fight, Philippines)— is expected to share technical advice on the prevention and control of the infectious disease in the country, the department added.

"The Chinese experts arrived with invaluable firsthand experiences to share on fighting and containing COVID. Thank you China," Locsin wrote on his official Twitter account.

Apart from the medical team, the Chinese government has also donated a fresh batch of medical supplies including 300,000 surgical masks, 30,000 medical N95 masks, 5,000 medical protective suits, 5,000 medical face shields, and 30 non-invasive ventilators.

The Health Department earlier said the medical experts would be visiting various local health facilities to see how the country is managing the spread of COVID-19.

Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergiere said among the facilities the group will visit are the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila and the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, both of which are COVID-19 referral hospitals.

The agency, however, did not specify how long the experts would be staying in the country.

China, ground zero of the highly-contagious disease, has recorded over 82,000 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, making it the sixth most infected country in the world.

The Philippines, on the other hand, has reported 3,246 cases of the infectious disease, with 152 fatalities and 64 recoveries.