A planeload of medical supplies has arrived in Athens from China to help the country deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The shipment which was provided by the Chinese government, at the urgent request of the Greek government, arrived on Saturday via the Air China CA 863 flight.
Aristotle's famous quote “Friendship is one soul residing in two bodies”, was written in Greek and Chinese on one of the containers.
The aid includes 500,000 surgical masks and other medical supplies including protective equipment, glasses, gloves and shoe covers.
Chinese Ambassador to Greece, Zhang Qiyue presented the medical supplies, which also included supplies donated by Chinese enterprises, to Greece’s Minister of Health, Vassilis Kikilias at Athens International Airport.
Kikilias expressed Greece’s gratitude to the Chinese government and the other entities that provided assistance, with a statement broadcasted on ERT: “During a global shortage of these goods and an immense battle waged by the health ministry in order to secure supplies, this today is a great relief and we will continue to fight in order to equip our hospitals.”
According to a Chinese Embassy announcement, the medical supplies were organised and transported within eight days by the Chinese Government, “at a time when China is still under immense pressure from containing the epidemic and the supply of medical materials are still in shortage.”
State Minister Georgios Gerapetritis and Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis were also present at the airport.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed 13 people in Greece, while 530 cases have been recorded.
Greece imposed a shutdown of schools, bars, cafes, shopping malls, libraries, museums and archaeological sites, in an attempt to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus.
The government also adopted strict measures to limit unnecessary movement, including banning gatherings of 10 or more people.