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Chinese medical supplies arrive in Ebola-affected Sierra Leone
A Chinese plane carrying emergency humanitarian supplies for Sierra Leone arrived in the country's capital Freetown on Monday afternoon, as part of effort to help the country contain the spread of Ebola.
The aid materials which were brought by a special chartered flight from China included personal protective gears, gloves and glasses as well as chlorine and other medicines to help fight the disease.
China announced on Sunday it would dispatch three expert teams and medical supplies to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to help the three West African countries fight against the outbreak of the virus.
This is the second batch of Ebola relief provided by China to West Africa. China delivered its first batch of supplies in May, mostly for disease prevention, control and treatment, to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent messages on Sunday separately to Guinean President Alpha Conde, Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, expressing sympathy and solicitude for human and economic losses caused by the Ebola outbreak.
Receiving the materials on behalf of the President, the government and people of Sierra Leone, the Deputy Minster of Foreign Affairs, Ebun Strasser-King said the Chinese government demonstrated that "a friend in need is a friend indeed."
She noted that the Ebola "took us by surprise and met us when we were ill prepared for it". It is in this vein that the government and people welcome this gesture by the Chinese. She maintained that "our friendship has been based on friendship and brotherhood."
Representing the Health Ministry, the Deputy Minister Abu Bakar Fofanah reechoed the sentiments of his colleague, noting that the gifts are a milestone in the China-Sierra Leone relation. He commended the Chinese for putting all protocols aside by coming to the immediate help of Sierra Leone.
The Ebola virus, which spreads through bodily fluids with those infected, has killed 961 people and affected 1,779 others this year in West Africa, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The World Health Organization warned on Friday that the disease is now a "public health emergency of international concern" and called for a coordinated international response to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola.