ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday spoke to President Xi Jinping about the spread of coronavirus, offering to assist the Chinese authorities in their fight against the deadly outbreak by sending them a field hospital.
According to an official statement released by the PM office, Khan had a telephone conversation with the Chinese president in which he “conveyed his heartfelt condolences over the precious lives lost due to the outbreak of the virus.”
The conversation took place a day after parents of Pakistani students in China gave a three-day ultimatum to the government to evacuate their loved ones from the coronavirus-hit country.
The death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 2,000 this week while it has infected more than 75,000 people, with over 1,000 cases outside mainland China.
According to the Pakistan authorities, no case of the virus has so far been confirmed in the county, though it shares a border with China.
During the conversation with Xi, Khan reiterated Pakistan’s offer to send “a field hospital along with a team of doctors to China to help Chinese people fight the virus,” the statement said.
The Chinese president expressed “gratitude for Pakistan’s support to China at a critical time and underscored that China was taking effective, swift and timely measures to battle coronavirus,” the statement continued.
Xi reaffirmed that China is treating “Pakistani students ‘as our own’ and will spare no effort in ensuring their safety, health, and well-being,” the statement read.
Around 1,100 Pakistani students have been stranded in Hubei province, with the majority based in Wuhan, since the lock down was enforced on Jan. 23. A total of 28,000 Pakistani students are enrolled in different Chinese universities, according to the foreign office.
Khan expressed “complete confidence” in the Chinese efforts to eliminate the virus.