'Condition in China improving, hope to resume flights' : Chinese amb.

Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Zhang Lizhong has expressed hope that flights between China and Maldives will be resumed at the earliest.

Last month, the Maldives government indefinitely suspended all inbound flights from China as a precautionary measure against the global Coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China.

While over 75,000 have been infected with the virus, over 2200 people have died from the disease. However, the number of people infected per day is slowly decreasing while the number of recovered cases is noted to be increasing.

At a press conference held Thursday at the Chinese Embassy, Ambassador Zhang said the situation in China is improving. While the suspension of flights is affecting both countries, it is his hope that the suspension will be lifted soon, said the ambassador.

The ambassador acknowledged the assistance and cooperation provided by the Maldives government and its people at this trying time, and said China would forever remember the support.

He further noted that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had sent a letter of condolence to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, and relayed the Maldives' government's decision to donate 1,000,000 cans of tuna to China.

While the situation in China has improved compared to the initial stages of the outbreak, the condition is slowly stabilizing as a result of the effective measures implemented by the Chinese government and its friendly nations, said the ambassador.

Praising the Maldives on the important efforts the government took to address the coronavirus pandemic, the suspension of flights between China and Maldives was a necessary step given the situation despite it negatively impacting the economies of both countries, said the ambassador.

"Due to the suspension of direct flights, some projects are also delayed and affected, as we could not bring in good project managers from China to handle the projects," said Ambassador Zhang.

The Chinese ambassador further expressed hope that the situation would soon improve enough to resume suspended flights. Collaborative efforts between the two countries can help reach such a goal, he added.

China's China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CEMC) recently spent over US$ 10,000 to establish a quarantine area in Maldives. This included the funds needed to build the structure of the building over a period of six days, and all furniture and other necessary resources. The company sent eight employees to Maldives to complete the project.