Chinese firms can offer to help ‘build makeshift hospitals for India’ if asked

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/25 23:58:40

A policeman stands guard at a roadblock during the first day of a 21-day government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in New Delhi on Wednesday. India's billion-plus population went into a three-week lockdown on Wednesday, with a third of the world now under orders to stay indoors. Photo: AFP

In the face of mounting epidemic pressure, India announced a three-week-long national lockdown, and despite such a time of adversity, Chinese companies already in the South Asian nation can offer help including aiding the locals to build makeshift hospitals like those in Wuhan if asked, Chinese experts suggest. 

Such comments came following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the country's 1.3 billion people to stay inside and put the majority of the country under lockdown for 21 days, as COVID-19 has severely affected much of the world.

"I am very happy to say that the Indian government has been in a way ahead of the curve and we now not only need to have policies to curb the spread of the virus but at the same time do large-scale testing of our population which could be exposed to the virus," said Atul Dalakoti, executive director for China at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Chinese companies can help countries undergoing coronavirus lockdowns like India, an expert from China Railway Construction Corp told the Global Times. 

"Chinese companies working on existing projects in India, with sufficient supply networks in place, can take over the construction of makeshift hospitals like those in Wuhan upon India's invitation," the expert said.

As of 11 pm Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 606, local media Economic Times reported.

The Times of India reported on Monday that the country is testing about 5,000 samples a week, whereas the US is testing 26,000 a week and the UK 16,000 a week.

"Now we are very worried about the local transmission of COVID-19 and among the masses in rural areas," Lari said, noting that until last week India had only reported confirmed cases of patients who had a travel history abroad.

Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the key to India's virus fight lies in "preventing imported cases while containing the spread domestically."

Dai Yonghong, director of the Institute of Bay of Bengal Studies under Shenzhen University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that China and India should step up cooperation in the fight against the virus, for example, in information sharing and vaccine development.

"India can and should learn from the experience of China in fighting this virus and the two governments are in close touch," Dalakoti said.

He called for the Indian government to share the latest information and educate its people of the importance of controlling the spread of this virus and at the same time, tell them the ways and means to avoid getting this virus. 

"We really hope that the Indian government would come out with a big stimulus package to help Indian Industry to survive this downturn and be able to grow again once things get back to normal," he added.

Compared with the medical resources of developed countries, India is far behind and the country needs more isolation centers and hospitals and better medical equipment, Kapil Kinariwala, head of 3KSL Transport, a logistics company based in Indore, told the Global Times on Wednesday.


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