China's Peace Ark leaves Philippines
2013/12/12

China's navy hospital ship Peace Ark left the Leyte Gulf in southeastern Philippines Tuesday for home after concluding a 16-day medical aid mission in typhoon-hit areas, said a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

This is the first time China has sent a naval vessel to overseas disaster-hit areas for a humanitarian medical mission, said Hong Lei at a daily news briefing.

The hospital ship treated 2,208 patients and 113 inpatients, and conducted 44 operations, according to Hong.

It carried out an epidemic survey, disinfection and disinsectization, monitored water quality in relocation centers and donated medical supplies to the Philippines, the spokesman said.

With a full-load displacement of 14,300 tonnes, the ship has 300 beds, 20 ICUs, eight operating theaters, and can carry out 40 major procedures a day. It is one of the world's largest and most capable floating hospitals.

The medical aid carried out has shown China's image as a responsible power, and an image of peace of the People's Liberation Army, said Hong.

As the most powerful typhoon in decades, Haiyan, also known as Yolanda locally, wreaked havoc in central Philippine provinces on Nov. 8, leaving nearly 6,000 dead, 27,022 injured and 1,779 missing.

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