China donates thousands of medical masks, personal protective equipment to Canada
TORONTO -- China has donated thousands of medical supplies to Canada to aid in the fight against the COVID-19, according to the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa.
In a tweet published on Saturday morning, the embassy said it had sent 30,000 medical masks, 10,000 sets of protective clothing, 10,000 goggles and 50,000 pairs of gloves to Canada on Friday.
The embassy also said that shipment would be followed by another one containing the much sought-after N95 masks.
“We are together!” the Chinese Embassy wrote.
On Saturday afternoon, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne thanked China for the donation.
“In the face of a global pandemic, supporting each other is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” he said in a tweet.
Health-care systems around the world have reported shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their frontline workers.
In Canada, some hospitals have appealed to other industries, such as educational institutions and dental clinics, to donate equipment, while others have begun rationing the number of masks each staff member can use per shift.
Because China is the largest supplier of PPE in the world, the global supply took a big hit when the country had to shut down its factories earlier this year when the outbreak began.
In February, Canada sent 16 tonnes of medical equipment to China to help the country, which was then the epicentre of the outbreak, respond to the emergency.
Since then, the Canadian government has faced criticism for sending those supplies that are now needed at home.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his government’s decision by explaining that it was part of Canada’s response to the global crisis. He also said Canadian businesses have retooled production to manufacture equipment for the health-care system.
“I can assure everyone that the federal stockpiles have been sufficient to meet the needs of the provinces until this point,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister also said Canada would receive “millions more items” that are needed for the health emergency.
Canada isn’t the only recipient of Chinese medical supplies, either.
In the past week, China has donated PPE to various nations grappling with the pandemic, including, most recently, Pakistan.
On Saturday, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said China had sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and aid to help the South Asian country respond to the outbreak there. The shipment included ventilators, masks, and other medical equipment.