China reportedly pledged on Monday to provide Armenia with more medical supplies needed for containing the spread of coronavirus in the South Caucasus country.
Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Avet Adonts requested such aid during a video conference with the Chinese ambassador in Yerevan, Tian Erlong.
“Ambassador Tian stated that China is ready to provide additional aid to Armenia by donating protective medical uniforms and lung ventilation devices worth $110,000,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the conversation.
“Ambassador Tian emphasized the readiness of the Chinese side to continue close cooperation with Armenia in resolving various issues in the fight against the novel coronavirus, stressing the importance of international unity and solidarity in the fight against the pandemic,” it added.
The statement also cited Adonts as thanking Beijing for donating more than 1,000 coronavirus test kits which he said were delivered to Armenia late last week.
Tian promised that donation at a March 6 meeting with Armenian Health Minister Arsen Torosian. According to Torosian’s office, the envoy also announced that the Chinese Embassy has “allocated funding to Armenia for the acquisition ofadditional medical items.”
Meeting with Tian later in the day, President Armen Sarkissian said the Chinese assistance is “very important” for Armenia’s ongoing efforts to combat the virus.
The Armenian authorities confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 virus in the country on March 1.
Yerevan suspended for two months visa free-travel between Armenia and China on January 31 as the virus rapidly spread in China’s Hubei province.
According to the Foreign Ministry statement, Adonts and Tian discussed the “prolongation” of the Chinese-Armenian visa regime. “The sides agreed to keep close contact regarding the issue and coordinate steps taken by both sides,” said the statement.
The Chinese government has already provided significant assistance to the Armenian healthcare sector in the past. That includes almost 290 ambulances that were donated by it in 2011 and 2018.