Belgrade: A team of Chinese medical staff with experience in fighting COVID-19 arrived in the Serbian capital on Saturday evening to help with the Balkan state's battle against the virus.
The six-member expert team were greeted with warm applause of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar, Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin and other government officials at the Belgrade Airport.
The Chinese doctors, who specialize in such areas as infectious disease prevention (IDP), pulmonary and critical care medicine (PCCM), have also brought with them medical supplies urgently needed in Serbia, where 171 COVID-19 cases have been reported with one death.
With experience in containing the spread of coronavirus, the Chinese experts are expected to provide valuable advice to Serbia, which declared a state of emergency five days ago in an effort to curb the virus' spread and appealed to China for help.
The Chinese medical team came over with ventilators, medical masks, test kits and other medical supplies in the first batch of 16 tons of donations. The second batch are being loaded in China for another flight.
Vucic said in a welcome address that the Chinese experts' coming to help is of "immense importance for our country," and the medical aid is "life-saving."
"From now on, we will listen to everything they say. This exceeds politics. We wish to show respect to people that managed to beat the biggest enemy of today's world, the COVID-19," he said.
Vucic also thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people for the friendship and support they extended to the Serbian people at this difficult time.
"We give them our immense gratitude, especially for sending their experts. They have proven as friends in the most difficult times when we fight for lives of Serbian people," said the Serbian president, adding "each of these ventilators means a saved human life here in Serbia."
Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo said that the experts from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong came straight from the frontlines of China's battle against COVID-19.
"We are in the most difficult times, China, Serbia and the whole world. The COVID-19 virus represents an enemy to the whole mankind, and solidarity is most important at this moment," noted Chen, who also commended Serbia for its medical aid and support when China was hit hard by the virus.
"Together we are stronger. We will fight together with our Serbian friends until the final victory," said Chen.