MANILA, Philippines – China’s hospital ship dubbed “The Peace Ark” is already in the Leyte Gulf, giving medical aid to the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), a statement from the Chinese Embassy in Manila said.
The 300-bed floating navy medical facility arrived in Leyte on November 24 and was warmly welcomed by Armed Forces of the Philippines officers and local government officials.
Chinese Ambassador to Manila Ma Keqing, who was in Leyte to coordinate China’s relief efforts, said that the arrival of the Peace Ark marks a significant chapter in China’s history of post-disaster assistance abroad.
“This will be the first medical ship to arrive in the Philippines and we are looking forward to it playing a bigger role in boosting and providing emergency medical care,” Ma added.
Seven heavily injured people were already transferred to the hospital ship, which is anchored 10 nautical miles off Tacloban.
A field hospital will be set up in the disaster area to receive patients before transferring them to the highly-equipped ship for further treatment.
The Peace Ark is equipped with 217 types and 2,406 units of advanced medical systems, including a CT scan room, digital X-Ray photographic studio, a blood bank, an oxygen generation station, and its own pharmacy.
It was 300 ward beds, 20 of which are from the Intensive Care Unit.
On board the Peace Ark are more than 100 doctors and 200 supporting medical personnel on board and is carrying 35 tons of medical supplies.
The ship left from People’s Liberation Army base on Zhoushan island on November 21 following a series of massive assitance and relief packages from the Chinese government who received flak from international news organizations who called their initial donation of US$100,000 ‘measly’. – Rappler.com
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