New Delhi: China has offered to build makeshift hospitals in India on the lines of those it did in Wuhan to treat Covid-19 patients, if any such request is made by the government here, according to a state-run Chinese daily.

“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 Global Times quoted a China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) Limited official as saying.

The proposal came in the wake of the Indian government’s decision to impose a complete lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. CRCC is one of the world’s largest integrated engineering contractor and construction groups, with revenue of more than $100 billion and market capitalisation of around $250 billion. However, CRCC has been under the World Bank scanner for alleged misconduct. In June last year, the World Bank barred CRCC for nine months from participation in any World Bank financed project, following an inquiry into alleged misconduct in the East-West Highway Corridor Improvement Project in Georgia. Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Centre 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”.

The article also quoted Dai Yonghong, director of the Institute of Bay of Bengal Studies under Shenzhen University, as saying that China and India should step up cooperation in the fight against the virus, for example, in information sharing and vaccine development.ET had reported on Thursday that India was working on modalities to procure medical items including ventilators and vital components required for N-95 masks and personal protective equipment from China on an urgent basis to combat the global pandemic.

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