Pak, China friendship gains greater strength in wake of Covid-19: Report

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DNA

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 27  – China-Pakistan all-weather friendship gained greater strength and the steadfast strategic mutual trust as well as witnessing indepth cooperative partnership in the present pandemic during its first year.

It was also a clear manifestation of “a friend in need is a friend in deed”, says a report published by China Economic Net (CEN) on Saturday.

The report says, the true value of a relationship between individuals or countries can be judged during difficult times such as natural calamities and disease outbreaks.

As a gesture of friendship, Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi visited Beijing in March 2020 and expressed Islamabad’s abiding support and solidarity with China in its fight against the coronavirus.

Soon the coronavirus cases started appearing in different parts of the World. Pakistan reported its first two cases of COVID-19 on February 26, 2020.

For a struggling economy like Pakistan’s, it was impossible to fight COVID-19 without relief assistance from friendly countries.

At a time when every country of the world was focused on protecting its citizens from the virus, China sent a special plane carrying a team of medical professionals and relief assistance to Pakistan on March 28.

In addition to the Government of China, Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation also donated test kits and facemasks to Pakistan. China also handed over ventilators to treat critical patients in hospitals.

A team of eight medical experts from China remained in Pakistan for two weeks and assisted Pakistani doctors and health experts in battling the coronavirus.

Chinese assistance was not only limited to the medical field, as the People’s Republic of China also provided grant assistance of $ 15 million to Pakistan to fight COVID-19.

As the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths grew in Pakistan, China also increased its assistance to the country.

In late 2020, different pharmaceutical companies developed coronavirus vaccines and mass vaccination programs started in the world.

At this critical time, China announced 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine for Pakistan.

During the past one year, Pakistan has around 576, 000 recorded infections with over 12,700 deaths linked to COVID-19.

Pandemics like corona will come and dissipate. However, this period has further strengthened China-Pakistan friendship. As a Chinese proverb goes, “friends show their love in times of troubles, not in happiness”, the report added.