Equatorial Guinea offers China $2 million for virus fight

An empty street is seen in Beijing on February 5, 2020. – China’s struggle to contain the deadly coronavirus is deepening concerns about the impact on the world’s number-two economy, as factories stay closed and millions of consumers remain holed up at home. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP)

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AFP) — The tiny central African state of Equatorial Guinea said Wednesday it would give $2 million (1.8 million euros) to China to help it tackle coronavirus.

The government, which has developed close ties with Beijing, said the donation was a mark of “support and solidarity.”

The new coronavirus has claimed nearly 500 lives, infected more than 24,000 people in mainland China and spread to more than 20 countries since it appeared in late December.

While there has not yet been a confirmed infection reported in sub-Saharan Africa, many countries on the continent have imposed preventative measures.

On January 27, Equatorial Guinea announced that all people entering the country from China would be quarantined for 14 days.

It has since placed 25 people in isolation, according to the country’s national committee to counter the virus.

Equatorial Guinea, an oil-rich state with an entrenched record of authoritarian rule and poverty, has developed close economic links with Beijing. Chinese companies have been awarded a string of contracts for infrastructure projects.

© Agence France-Presse