MANILA—The Chinese ambassador to the Philippines on Saturday called on all countries to help China fight the deadly new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic.
"This is not the fight of China alone," Ambasador Huang Xilian said during a turnover ceremony at Clark International Airport, where the Philippines donated 52 boxes of relief goods for the Chinese province of Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak.
"This is the battle of the [Asian] region. This is the [a] common challenge and the common responsibility of the international community."
The ambassador said China is "happy" that some countries are joining the battle against the epidemic.
Huang also thanked Filipino officials for the "gesture of tremendous goodwill" towards Hubei.
"This assistance is our affirmation to our abiding friendship and mutual aid that has been the hallmark of Philippine-Chinese ties over the years," said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay.
The number of deaths from the new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 722 on Saturday.
Chinese authorities also confirmed another 3,399 new cases. There are now more than 34,500 confirmed infections across the country.
China has struggled to contain the current virus despite having placed 56 million people under lockdown in Hubei and its provincial capital Wuhan, where the epidemic started. — With reports from Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News and Agence France-Presse