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Serbian president kisses Chinese flag as support team arrives


 22-Mar-2020 

Updated 19:52, 22-Mar-2020

 

  

 

 

 

Serrbian President Aleksandar Vucic greeted Chinese doctors who arrived in Serbia on Saturday, kissing the Chinese flag in a show of gratitude for the country's timely support against COVID-19.

"The arrival of Chinese health professionals is of great importance to us because they were the first to defeat the great enemy of today: COVID-19," Vucic said.

"Everything on this plane is free-of-charge assistance, a donation from the People's Republic of China. We should thank them with all our hearts, they have proven to be great friends of Serbia and Serbs," he added.

Chinese support team arrives in Serbia to help the country stem the spread of COVID-19, Belgrade, Serbia, March 21, 2020. /CCTV

Chinese support team arrives in Serbia to help the country stem the spread of COVID-19, Belgrade, Serbia, March 21, 2020. /CCTV

Serbia's largest aircraft, an Airbus A330, landed in from China with the largest shipment of aid to Serbia which includes medical devices, such as respirators, face masks, anti-microbial medical gowns, and security equipment, as well as six Chinese experts.

The medical aid packages that came from China read in Chinese language and in Cyrillic: "The friendship of steel, we share weal and woe!" with a heart that had the flag of Serbia on one side, and the flag of China on the other.

Chinese President Xi said in a letter received by Serbian President Vucic that China supports Serbia's efforts to fight the coronavirus and will provide the country with material and medical assistance, provide support in procuring essential goods from China, as well as professional assistance.

China's ambassador to Belgrade, Chen Bo, said the aid was a sign of the "iron friendship" between the two countries. 

"They (the Chinese doctors) have come from the frontlines of China's fight against the virus. And right away, they came to Serbia to the new frontline. Please allow me to express high respect and gratitude to them in the name of all the Chinese citizens who live and work in Serbia," the ambassador said.

Employees at the Nikola Tesla airport unload medical supplies sent from China against COVID-19, Belgrade, Serbia, March 21, 2020. /Reuters

Employees at the Nikola Tesla airport unload medical supplies sent from China against COVID-19, Belgrade, Serbia, March 21, 2020. /Reuters

Serbian authorities have reported 171 people who have tested positive for coronavirus and one related death.

The government introduced tighter measures on Friday including closing down cafes, restaurants and parks and enacted a curfew from 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) until 5 a.m. (0400 GMT).

In the capital Belgrade, even police helicopters are being used to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. During the curfew, they are patrolling the skies trying to find those in breach of imposed restrictions. And from Monday, all the restaurants and coffee shops throughout the country will be shut.

Vucic said that one of the halls at Belgrade Fair will be turned into a hospital with 3,000 beds to accommodate people infected with coronavirus.

(CGTN's Aljosa Milenkovic also contributed to the story.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Xi says China to send medical experts to help Serbia fight COVID-19

(Xinhua)    11:27, March 22, 2020

 

 

File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Beijing, capital of China, April 25, 2019. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

China will provide Serbia with assistance in protective equipment and medical instruments, and send a group of medical experts to help it better contain the COVID-19 epidemic, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a recent message of sympathy to his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic.

In his message, Xi, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, extended sincere sympathies to the Serbian government and people over the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the Balkan country.

China and Serbia are comprehensive strategic partners, and the iron-clad friendship between the two countries and between the two peoples has stood the test of time and grown ever stronger, Xi stressed.

Recalling that when the Chinese people was making an all-out effort to fight the novel coronavirus disease, the Serbian government and people offered China strong support through concrete actions, Xi said he is deeply grateful for that.

China firmly supports Serbia's efforts against the epidemic, Xi said, adding that China will provide Serbia with assistance in protective equipment and medical instruments, and help it purchase urgently needed supplies in China.

China will also send a group of medical experts to help Serbia better contain the epidemic, so as to protect the life, health and well-being of the Serbian people, he added.

Xi said he attaches great importance to the development of China-Serbia relations, and believes that through the joint battle against the epidemic, the two countries' time-tested traditional friendship will gain more hearty support from their people, and their comprehensive strategic partnership will grow deeper and rise to a higher level. ■

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