The Chinese Military Medical Expert Group (CMMEG) in Sierra Leone has been playing an active role in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the team told Xinhua in an interview.
According to the chief of the team Zhao Guanyu, the medical center where the team is based, was transformed into a COVID-19 center and they were given the specific duty of performing the test on samples collected and also conduct treatment on COVID-19, especially critical cases.
The center diagnosed the first COVID-19 case in Sierra Leone and had the first batch of treated patients discharged, Zhao said, adding that more than a thousand samples have been tested and over 200 patients of critical conditions are treated.
“We are operating the best center for COVID-19 here,” he said. “Now we have ventilators, oxygen, and other equipment for critical cases.”
CMMEG has been working closely with local staff and has been collaborating with other medical teams like the Cuban medical team and some non-governmental organizations.
“We have extended our stay in Sierra Leone to help fight the COVID-19,” he said, adding that they have been sharing experiences with their colleagues in China and also share ideas with local staff on how to better treat COVID-19 cases.
“We believe that China and Africa are working together with a shared future. We consider the local staff in Sierra Leone as part of our family,” he said.
The secretary of CMMEG, Zheng Junjie is an expert in the clinical area. He has been working with the team on infection prevention and control for diseases in Sierra Leone. He revealed that they have been working side by side with their Sierra Leonean counterparts on skills transfer.
“I am happy to work with committed and friendly local experts,” he said.
“I hope COVID-19 will soon be a thing of the past,” adding that Chinese medical experts will continue to support Serra Leone’s health sector.
Since its arrival in July 2019, the medical team, which comprises 12 medical experts, has also been doing laboratory tests and case management of various diseases like malaria, typhoid fever, HIV and AIDS, hepatitis B, and other related cases.