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Remark by H.E. Zhang Yiming at the Handover Ceremony of Anti-pandemic Supplies Donated by China

Mr. Ben Nangombe, Executive Director of Ministry of Health and Social Services,

Distinguished Guests,

Friends from Media,

Good afternoon!

We are now holding a ceremony here today to donate a number of oxygenators, masks and other anti-epidemic materials to the Ministry of Health and Social Services. There are two aims implicated in this action of our Embassy: the first is to express the friendship from the Chinese government and people towards Namibia which has been fully exhibited in our joint fight against the pandemic. The second is to express my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Health of Namibia and the four public hospitals for facilitating Chinese citizens to inoculate the COVID-19 vaccines.

On March 9 this year, the Namibian government approved the emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccine in Namibia. A week later, 100,000 doses of vaccines donated by China arrived in Namibia, immediately followed by the launching of the Namibian government’s vaccination plan. Through this highly efficient execution, we have achieved three "firsts" in acquiring and using Chinese vaccines among African countries: the first vaccines arriving in Namibia, the first vaccines to be put to use through Namibia vaccination plan, and Namibia is the first country where all eligible Chinese nationals are vaccinated. In light of the spirit of internationalism and the friendly relations between China and Namibia, the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Namibia brought Chinese nationals into the local vaccination plan and made related special arrangements. Besides, Mr. Ben Nangombe and Ms. Petronella Masabane specially made a trip to Walvis Bay State Hospital to coordinate the process. As of yesterday, all Chinese citizens in Namibia who have registered and are eligible for vaccination have completed the first dose of vaccination. Namibia also becomes the first African country that complete vaccination for Chinese Nationals who reside there. The Chinese citizens are delighted and extol the profound friendship between China and Namibia and two peoples. At the same time, Chinese national’s inoculation also help strengthen the local people's confidence in the safety and effectiveness of Chinese vaccines. On behalf of the Embassy and all Chinese citizens in Namibia, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Health, Katutura intermediate Hospital, Windhoek Central Hospital, Swakopmund State Hospital, Walvis Bay State Hospital and all medical staffs that provide vaccination services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the world, while the China-Namibia friendship has withstood the test and emerged more resilient.I remember vividly when China went through its hardest time, President Hage Geingob stood out as the first foreign leaders sending letters of support to President Xi Jinping. Shortly after the break out of the pandemic in Namibia, China provided assistance immediately and donated more than 50 batches of anti-pandemic materials one after another, including test kits, ventilators, oxygenators, protection suits, 100,000 doses of vaccines and nearly one million masks. I hope the Chinese vaccines and the newly donated medical materials will help Namibia to overcome the pandemic soon.

As a reciprocal arrangement, China is considering vaccinating all Namibian citizens in China for free. China-Namibia’s cooperation in the health sector has been a highlight in the bilateral relations all along. Since 1996, there always have been 4 Chinese medical workers posted at Katutura hospital. They have provided free Chinese traditional medical services to the local communities and benefited more than 100,000 people around Namibia. In 2018 and 2019 respectively, two teams of ophthalmologists from China’s top-ranking hospital came to Namibia, curing 440 patients with eye diseases like cataracts. China also donated off road 4*4 ambulances, medical equipments and medicines. To fulfill President Xi Jinping’s commitment at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, the governments of China and Namibia established a pair-up cooperation system, enabling Walvis Bay State hospital and Zhejiang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital to be sister hospitals, and the new medical team is expected to arrive in June, which will help Namibia increase its capacity to fight the epidemic. China is willing to further strengthen our bilateral health cooperation by means of joint fight against the pandemic, in a bid to build a community of health for China and Namibia to constantly bring benefits to the two peoples.

I thank you all!

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