By Alfred Sasako
LABORATORY equipment and test kits to help the Solomon Islands’ Government in its fight to keep the COVID-19 at bay are expected to arrive in Honiara next week, it was confirmed last night.
The announcement of the Honiara-bound consignment comes as Beijing extends its help to countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy – countries that are battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chinese government provided 1, 000 ventilators to the State of New York, while in the United Kingdom it has provided 20 invasive ventilators along with 1.86 million personal protective equipment for the frontline workers there.
In Solomon Islands, the laboratory equipment and test kits bound for Honiara were bought with a USD300, 000 grants from the Government of China. These equipment were manufactured by BGI Genomics, the world’s leading provider of genomic sequencing services and proteomic services, now serving customers in more than 66 countries around the globe.
Half the money was used to buy the equipment and test kits while the balance was partly used to cover other costs such transportation fee from Hong Kong to Sydney Australia.
This leaves a balance of USD100, 000 which would be handed over to the Government once the equipment and test kits have arrived.
It is understood the laboratory equipment and test kits are expected to be flown to Sydney, arriving there on Monday 13th April. The Government is understood to have arranged with Solomon Airlines to pick up the consignment later in the week.
Other items such as the 125, 000 medical gloves and donations by a provincial government and private companies are due to arrive by boat later.
The Chinese government has also donated additional items, such as 500 medical protective clothing, 500 medical facial masks, 500 medical goggles and 100 Infra-red Thermometers. Beijing is also donating 2, 000 pieces of medical protective clothing and 5, 000 surgical masks.
Guangdong Provincial Government has also donated 20, 000 medical facial masks, 2, 000 surgical masks and 500 medical protective clothing.
China’s State-Owned Enterprise (SOE), China Harbour Engineering Company, has donated 20, 000 medical facial masks, 200 medical gloves, 80 infra-red thermometers and 100 N95 masks.
Private company, Jia Shu Rong He International Trade Company has donated 20,000 facial masks, 200 infra-red thermometers and 200 medical protective clothing.
The Honiara-based Solomon Chinese Association has donated 50,000 facial masks.