Serbia's president praises China as 'the only one' to extend help

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic praised China's response to its call for help in the containment of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying the people of Serbia will never forget the kind assistance from their Chinese brothers.

Vucic on Sunday proclaimed a nationwide state of emergency to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. He branded European solidarity as a "fairytale," and called China "the only one who can help us."

Screenshot from Serbian PresidentAleksandar Vucic's Twitter.

Screenshot from Serbian PresidentAleksandar Vucic's Twitter.

"We are waiting here for our Chinese brothers. It has turned out that without you Europe can hardly defend itself," Vucic said when meeting China's ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo after Chinese tests for the new coronavirus arrived Tuesday.

More supplies and experts from China will arrive in Serbia by the end of the week if all goes well, Chen was quoted by Serbian state TV as saying.

China's first batch of medical aid containing 1,000 manufactured rapid test kits which can provide results within three hours arrived in Belgrade on Sunday night, according to the Serbian government's press release Monday.

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"We are convinced that with the help of our Chinese friends, with their expertise and experience, we will be able to successfully cope with COVID-19 and that Serbia will emerge from this battle as a winner," the government said in the press release.

As of 6:00 p.m. local time (5:00 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday, Serbia has confirmed 83 cases of COVID-19 and 421 people have been tested.

(Cover: The first batch of medical aid from China to Serbia arrives in Belgrade, Serbia, March 15, 2020. /Photo via Serbian government website)