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People's Daily Online

Chinese medical expert team visits COVID-19 epicenter in Palestine

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 11:05, June 14, 2020

RAMALLAH, June 13 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese medical team on Saturday visited the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the epicenter of COVID-19 in Palestinian territories.

The team met with Kamel Hmeid, governor of Bethlehem, at the governorate headquarters, where they were briefed on the overall management of the crisis and how the highly touristic district dealt with the outbreak of the pandemic.

Hmeid explained that the Bethlehem district managed to move promptly right after the first cases of COVID-19 were discovered.

"When we started 100 days ago with the first cases in Bethlehem ... it was a big challenge. We had a strong determination and high spirits, but we did not have high financial or medical capabilities," said the governor.

"Nevertheless, we managed to get ready and started our preparations hours after the first cases were confirmed in the Bethlehem district," he added.

In early March, the first coronavirus cases in Palestine were recorded in Bethlehem.

"We noticed through your presentation that an emergency team was formed under the leadership of the government, which is very similar to the system run in China," said Hu Peng, head of the Chinese team.

"We have the same mechanism, where we had multi-disciplinary teams for the health sector, the security and the logistics. It is a very strong guarantee for fighting the pandemic," Hu added.

The team of experts also met with doctors and staff of the Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem and visited the COVID-19 testing lab.

The team, which arrived in Palestine on Wednesday, was put together by China's National Health Commission with the members selected by the Chongqing Municipal Health Commission.

It is composed of experts from various fields, such as respiratory and infectious diseases, traditional Chinese medicine, epidemiology and nursing.

They are scheduled to hold a series of meetings with Palestinian counterparts until June 17. Enditem

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