China bringing in test kits on chartered flight

The Government of China is getting a chartered flight by weekend to bring to the Philippines a hundred thousand testing kits, surgical masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and N95 masks in an effort to help the Philippines in its fight against the coronavirus-19 (COVID019).

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on his twitter account yesterday that Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian texted him so he could inform Customs authorities about the incoming donation.

“China getting chartered flight by weekend; mysteriously there are no Philippine flights. I am asked to please alert Customs to let donation through pronto—and the rest of the bureaucracy not to throw a monkey wrench,” Locsin tweeted.    

China will send 100,000 testing kits; 10,000 N95 masks; PPEs 10,000; surgical masks 100,000.

Locsin added “notifying Customs of perishability of kits and imperative of cold temperature.”    

In his tweet, Locsin also told  Huang that the testing kits need their corresponding primers to be useable.

On March 16, the first batch of 2000 fast test kits for COVID-19 jointly donated by Chinese Embassy in the Philippines and the China Mammoth Foundation arrived in Manila.

The high-tech fast test kits, developed by China BGI Group, have a capability to issue results in 3 hours. The kits have not only been widely used in China's battle against the epidemic and proven to be quite effective, but also been exported to more than 50 countries including Japan, Thailand, Brunei, Egypt, Peru and UAE.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, China and the Philippines have been supporting and helping each other, demonstrating a profound friendship between close neighbors, friends and brothers, the Embassy said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Rodrigo Duterte have exchanged letters, expressing strong solidarity.

In light of the epidemic situation in the Philippines, the Chinese government and people have "greatly" sympathized with the Philippine side, and are very willing to lend a helping hand, an earlier statement issued by China said.

China has been sharing its hard-won anti-epidemic experiences, carrying out close medical experts-level cooperation with the Philippine side.

On March 15, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a phone call with Secretary Locsin thanked the Philippine government and people for giving China valuable support when the epidemic situation in China was severe.

Noting that the Philippines is China's friendly neighbor across the sea, Wang said China is ready to do its utmost to help the Philippines, adding that China has decided to provide the Philippines with urgently-needed medical materials such as test kits and protective clothing, and will actively coordinate the dispatch of medical experts.

Wang also expressed belief that under the leadership of  Duterte, the Philippines will secure an early victory against the epidemic.