MEDIA REPORT - China sends Yolanda aid, giant 'Peace Ark'
- Excerpts. By Federico D. Pascual Jr. (The Philippine Star) Nov 24
2013-11-26 19:22

SMOOTHER TIES: China may not have been there on the first day after typhoon Yolanda ravaged the Visayas last Nov. 8 and left more than 5,000 dead, but it is fast gearing up its own massive pouring of medical aid and relief to the victims.

The first medical team of more than 50 doctors and nurses flew into Cebu last Thursday along with supplies worth P37.8 million, including 2,000 tents, 2,000 sleeping bags, medicine and medical devices.

The team was followed by 10 members of Red Cross Society of China that had linked up with another group of 19 in Palo, Leyte, where there was no international medical team yet. They are all professionals who had worked either in China’s Sichuan earthquake in 2008 or Indonesia’s tsunami devastation in 2004.

Ambassador Ma Keqing flew to Cebu to see the teams off to their assigned areas. Properly handled, the interaction of Chinese medical workers with Filipino typhoon victims and local officials may help smooth out the troubled relations between the two countries.

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HOSPITAL SHIP: Eagerly awaited tomorrow is the Peace Ark Hospital Ship carrying 106 medical professionals and world-class equipment. It is the first 10,000-ton-class hospital ship in the world.

The Peace Ark is equipped with 217 types and 2,406 units of advanced medical systems, including CT Scan room, digital X-ray photographic studio, blood bank, oxygen generation station, compressed air system, and complete pharmacy.

It has 300 ward beds, including 20 ICU beds, 109 beds for serious injury, 67 burn beds, 94 regular beds, 10 beds of quarantine ward. It also has a tele-medicine diagnose system, and three special lifts for transferring the wounded on board.

Local Chinese firms have been mobilized to extend aid. Initially, the Association of Chinese Companies in the Philippines has donated P7.5 million to buy three payloaders for clean-up of the disaster areas.

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