Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has emphasized the need for the international community to support collaborations and share initiatives geared towards fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at the virtual Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against the COVID-19 co-hosted by the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the President pinpointed sharing knowledge from research and science as key to a faster global solution.
The summit was co-hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President and AU Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, and Senegal President and co-chair of FOCAC Macky Sall.
President Buhari promised that Nigeria would support and join any joint and collective action plan at regional and global levels to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout.
“As we face a common pervasive and invisible enemy, it is important that we all remain united to save our shared humanity because this virus knows no borders”, Buhari said.
”The fight against a global pandemic that continues to take so many lives, threaten livelihoods and challenging the very fabric of societies, requires enhanced cooperation and worldwide solidarity.
”I seize this opportunity to reiterate the need for this Summit to put humanity at the centre of our vision for common prosperity.
”We must learn lessons and share knowledge from research, as we develop more creative, responsive and humane health systems, improve crisis management protocols and support each other in the battle against COVID-19,’’ the Nigerian President continued.
The Chinese President remarked that the summit was convened to discuss a joint response to COVID-19 and renew relationships with Africa.
Xi Jiping said the world must mobilise resources to combat Covid-19, adding that China is willing to expend maximum efforts towards procurement of supplies, sending medical experts, and other means of assistance.
Noting that China and Africa account for nearly one-third of the global population, President Xi pledged to increase support for Africa, adding that China will provide 2billion USD over two years to support the work of WHO in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
President Buhari went on to commend the Chinese government, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, and the World Health Organization for the respective actions and measures to help developing and middle-income countries in Africa to tackle the pandemic.
He further revealed that Chinese support tremendously strengthens Nigeria’s effort in combating COVID-19, adding that President Xi’s strong support has further demonstrated the spirit of solidarity and enhanced the bond of partnership that already exists among FOCAC Member-States.
President Buhari went on to provide an update on what his administration has done since the global pandemic hit the country.
“From the outset of the pandemic, we in Nigeria instituted strong surveillance and infection prevention as well as control measures and made provisions to strengthen our testing capacities”, he said.
“Several well-equipped treatment and isolation centers were set up across the country to increase bed capacity.
“In the spirit of international collaboration, medical experts in Nigeria participated by video link in learning and experience-sharing exercises organized by experts from various countries, including China”.