Pakistan stands behind China's efforts to eliminate coronavirus, reiterates PM Imran

Published February 20, 2020
Conveying his condolences over the lives lost due to the outbreak, Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the efforts taken by China for containing and controlling the spread of the virus. — AFP
Conveying his condolences over the lives lost due to the outbreak, Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the efforts taken by China for containing and controlling the spread of the virus. — AFP

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, reiterated that the government of Pakistan firmly stands behind China in its efforts to eliminate the coronavirus, said a press release issued by the prime minister's office.

He also expressed Pakistan's "unequivocal solidarity with the Chinese leadership and people in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak", the statement added.

Conveying his condolences over the lives lost due to the outbreak, the prime minister praised the efforts taken by China for containing and controlling the spread of the virus, adding that the timely, effective and far-reaching measures taken by China were being acknowledged globally, the statement said.

It added that Imran, once again, emphasised on Pakistan's offer to send a field hospital, along with a team of doctors, to China.

"Underscoring Pakistan’s full trust in the measures being taken by the Chinese authorities, Imran expressed complete confidence that the Chinese nation, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, will emerge stronger and victorious in the aftermath of Covid-19," it read.

According to the press release, Imran also lauded China's resolve and the special measures the country took to look after Pakistani nationals. He also expressed his confidence in the Chinese leadership who will "continue to take the best possible measures for the welfare of our nationals and students in China", it read.

Meanwhile, the Chinese president assured the prime minister that the country was taking swift, effective, and timely measures to battle the outbreak, adding that they will win the war against the virus, the statement said.

He assured that Pakistani students in China were being treated as their own and authorities will spare no effort in ensuring their safety, health and well being.

On a separate note, Xi also stressed China's commitment to taking the Pakistan-China economic partnership to a new level, adding that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will continue to be the strongest link in this partnership, the statement read.

Both leaders shared their resolve to continue exchanges at the highest level to strengthen the partnership between the two countries.

China reported a big drop in new coronavirus cases on Thursday, fuelling hopes the epidemic is nearing its peak, but Japan faced a growing crisis as two passengers from a quarantined cruise ship died.

The death toll in China hit 2,118 as 114 more people died, but health officials reported the lowest number of new cases there in nearly a month, including in the hardest-hit province, Hubei.

On Wednesday, the families of Pakistanis who have not been evacuated from China had protested in Islamabad, calling for their return and refused the argument put forward by the special assistants to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis and national health services.

They had blocked Margalla Road in F-8 in protest, arguing that even Afghanistan and Bangladesh had evacuated their citizens from China and asked why Pakistan decided not to do so.

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