By Roy Mabasa
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday said Beijing will send testing kits with primers (100,000), N-95 masks (10,000), personal protective equipment (10,000), and surgical masks to help the Philippines fight the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Locsin made this disclosure in a Twitter post shortly after receiving a text message from Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian informing him of the incoming shipment.
This latest donation from China was an offshoot of the assurance made by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Locsin on Sunday to provide the Philippines with “urgently-needed” medical supplies amid the outbreak of COVID-19.
The DFA chief said he already informed Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and will alert the Bureau of Customs to ensure the immediate release of the items
“I notified Ambassador Huang that the testing kits need their corresponding primers to be useable. It’s all good,” Locsin said in a separate tweet.
The medical supplies are expected to arrive this weekend as China via a chartered flight to Manila.
“I am asked to please alert Customs to let donation through pronto – and the rest of the bureaucracy not to throw a monkey wrench,” Locsin said.
Some 2,000 sets of “fast test kits” for COVID-19 donated by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines and the China Mammoth Foundation arrived in Manila on Monday.
The “high-tech” fast test kit can issue results in just three hours and is widely used in China’s battle against the epidemic and proven to be “quite effective.”