7 February 2020 I When Nepal was hit hard by a devastating earthquake in 2015, the People’s Republic of China made a massive humanitarian deployment of its defence personnel including medical professionals.
The communist nation’s relief operations team in Nepal following the 7.8 magnitude temblor was said to be the biggest it had ever sent to a foreign land.
Xinhua reported at the time that the 1000 plus defence personnel deployed to the Himalayan nation was a record in the history of the communist superpower since the New China was formed in 1949.
Now that China is coping with its own challenge of coronavirus, Nepal may not be in a position to reciprocate proportionately but it can certainly show that a friend in need is a friend indeed.
The country has donated 100,000 protective masks to China as the country reels under acute shortage of protective masks – with reports and pictures of people in the coronavirus hot zones using makeshift masks made with bras and fruit skins.
At a programme in Kathmandu, Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali and minister for health and population Bhanubhakta Dhakal handed over a carton of masks to Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi.
“An expression of friendship and solidarity. Foreign Minister Hon. Mr. Pradeep K. Gyawali and Minister for Health and Population Hon. Mr. Bhanubhakta Dhakal handing over the protective masks donated by the GON to the Govt. of PRC today at MoFA,” the Nepalese foreign ministry said in a tweet on Friday.
According to Australia’s Department of Health, there have been over 28,000 of confirmed coronavirus cases internationally while New York Times has confirmed that the death toll has now surpassed 600.