Learn from us on corona, China envoy tells Uganda

Friday April 3 2020

Chinese ambassador to Uganda Mr Zheng Zhuqiang

Chinese ambassador to Uganda Mr Zheng Zhuqiang during an interview at the embassy in Kololo, Kampala, on August 15, 2019. Photo by Rachel Mabala  

By Franklin Draku

China has urged the Ugandan government to emulate the way the Chinese have handled the Covid-19 pandemic when it first broke out in their country, saying the disease is preventable and controllable under robust interventions.
Uganda has 45 confirmed cases of the disease and fears are rife that the figure could rise.

The Chinese ambassador to Uganda, Mr Zheng Zhuqiang, said China’s response to coronavirus was robust right from the onset of the outbreak in his country and it is the reason they have managed to prevent further spread.
“We have acted according to the overall principle of shoring up confidence, strengthening unity, ensuring science-based control and treatment and imposing targeted measures. We have mobilised the whole nation, set up collective control and treatment mechanisms and acted with openness and transparency. What we fought was a people’s war against the outbreak. We have put up a strenuous struggle and made tremendous sacrifices,” the Chinese ambassador told Daily Monitor in an email interview yesterday.

He said his government is helping Uganda to combat the disease and that Naguru Hospital is one of the recipients of the China assistance.
“Chinese medical team is assisting China-Uganda Friendship Hospital in Naguru, a designated hospital for confirmed cases of Uganda, and the Ugandan general public in their fight against the pandemic,” Mr Zhuqiang said.
A number of Chinese companies and philanthropists including Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations, Huawei Chongqing International Construction Corporation and China Railway 7th Group Liaoshen Industrial Park in Kapeeka operated by Chinese investors, have offered support to the Covid-19 fight.
Mr Zhuqiang said he has held several video conferences with government officials on how China can provide more support for Uganda.
“We have relayed those requests to our headquarters immediately, with our strong proposals. I am confident that more support from China will be on its way to Uganda,” he said.

Mr Zhuqiang said the outbreak has disrupted production and demand across the globe and urged countries to work together to counter the negative impact occasioned by Covid-19 and prevent the world economy from recession.
He said the fact that China has managed to eliminate new infections shows that the disease is preventable, controllable and curable, but countries must act decisively.
Mr Zhuqiang said China has set up its online Covid-19 knowledge centre that is open to the world and urged countries to pull their strengths to speed up research and development of drugs, vaccines and testing capabilities to achieve an early breakthrough for the cure.
The disease has spread to more than 200 countries, with the total confirmed cases being more than 700,000.