Vietnam aids Cuba's Covid-19 fight

By Hoang Thuy   July 16, 2020 | 08:54 am PT
Vietnam aids Cuba's Covid-19 fight
Senior Lieutenant General and Deputy Minister of Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh presented a three-ton gift of medical supplies to Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Lianys Torres Rivera on July 16, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Duy.
Vietnam presented a three-ton gift including testing kits and protective equipment to Cuba on Thursday to assist the country's Covid-19 campaign.

The gift that Deputy Minister of Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh presented to the Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam includes 10,000 sets of coronavirus test kits, 7,000 sets of sample transporters, 100,000 medical masks, 100,000 antibacterial cloth masks, 2,000 protective suits, and 212 boxes of medicine.

Cuban Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera said the gesture is testament to the friendship of the two peoples. "We have never abandoned each other, especially in the most difficult times," she said.

Rivera said Cuba has been in a difficult situation since the end of the Cuban revolution in 1959. The pandemic hit the country when it is still dealing with the U.S. embargo and sanctions, forcing it to come up with alternate measures to contain the disease and protect its socio-economic status.

Senior Lieutenant General Vinh expressed his appreciation toward Cuba because its Communist Party Politburo quickly responded to all of Vietnam's proposals to collaborate on Covid-19 epidemic prevention and control, considered a top priority.

Cuba had also announced it would donate medicines to Vietnam and send Cuban experts as well as host online conferences to exchange experiences to combat the pandemic.

Vinh said it is a special sentiment as well as political belief that Cuba has for Vietnam, which reflects the spirit of leader Fidel Castro since both "Vietnam and Cuba are willing to donate their blood".

In May, Vietnam's Ministry of Defense agreed to hand over the coronavirus testing kits, a successful result of studies conducted by its Military Medical Academy, to Cuba.

Cuban experts had visited Vietnam to implement a cooperation plan in Covid-19 prevention. Cuba also transferred the technology to produce Interferon alfa-2b medicine, used to treat a number of conditions, including liver damage and hepatitis B, to the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense's Military Medical Department and the Military Medical Academy.

As of Thursday, Vietnam has gone over three months without any community transmission and not a single death since the onset of the epidemic. The country has recorded a total of 381 cases, of whom 25 remain active.

Cuba, on the other hand, has reported a total 2,438 cases and 87 deaths.

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