Chi­nese com­mu­nity in coun­try calls for face mask do­na­tions

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Shad­dad al Musalmy @shadadm

With China fac­ing a short­age of pro­tec­tive face masks and other pro­tec­tive gears in the wake of the coro­n­avirus out­break, the Chi­nese Com­mu­nity Club of Oman has urged for do­na­tions of such med­i­cal sup­plies to be sent to China.

Since the out­break was first iden­ti­fied, Chi­nese gov­ern­ments and pub­lic health of­fi­cials have rec­om­mended pro­tec­tive wear as a pre­ven­tive mea­sure which has led to short­age of med­i­cal sup­plies specif­i­cally face masks.

“The do­na­tion cam­paign has been ini­ti­ated by the Chi­nese Com­mu­nity Club of Oman, with the sup­port of in­di­vid­u­als in Oman. At the mo­ment in China there is a short­age of med­i­cal pro­tec­tive masks, eye­wear, gloves and cloth­ing,” Emily Fan, coun­try di­rec­tor for Free Zone Watch, based in Oman and one of those col­lect­ing the do­na­tions, told Mus­cat Daily.

Emily said that such face masks are cur­rently avail­able at Mus­cat Phar­macy. “The goods will be de­liv­ered by China South­ern Air­lines from Dubai and then will be sent to Wuhan hospi­tals di­rectly. Right now we are con­tact­ing Oman Air for sup­port as well,” Emily said.

Do­na­tions can be made by con­tact­ing Emily on the num­ber 95850891, or Ma Jing on 95778808. “We are look­ing to pur­chase large quan­ti­ties from med­i­cal sup­pli­ers. Please reach out to Ma Jing if you are sup­pli­ers,” she added.

Mean­while, peo­ple across the globe are stock­pil­ing fa­cial masks to pro­tect them­selves from the new coro­n­avirus. Ac­cord­ing to a Bloomberg re­port, Ama­zon and Alibaba had run out of stock as of Wed­nes­day. Across China, Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore, peo­ple lined up for hours at stores and pharmacies hop­ing to se­cure dwin­dling sup­plies. Peo­ple from San Fran­cisco to Or­lando said they were un­able to find sur­gi­cal masks at their usual out­lets.

While the rush is global, Chi­nese peo­ple liv­ing abroad have been buy­ing masks - es­pe­cially the pop­u­lar N95 vari­ant made by 3M Co to send back to fam­ily mem­bers or re­sell them on­line.

The de­mand, how­ever, is only likely to in­crease even though doubts have sur­faced among the med­i­cal com­mu­nity about their ef­fec­tive­ness in curb­ing the dis­ease, which some doc­tors say can spread through phys­i­cal con­tact.

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