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Coronavirus pandemic: Italy gets planeload of masks, medics from China after European countries decline help

Red Cross of China sent 30 tonnes of supplies and a team of medical staff to Italy to fight the situation
UPDATED MAR 20, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

As Italy runs low on supplies and equipment to fight coronavirus, China has stepped in to help Italy by sending a planeload of medical supplies, including masks and respirators. They have also sent a team of nine Chinese medical staffers to help. With an alarming rise of cases and shortage of supplies, Italy had asked for help from other EU countries. Unfortunately, no one stepped up and Italy had to take aid from China.

After China, Italy has the most cases of people testing positive for coronavirus and deaths from it as well. China has surprisingly managed to reduce coronavirus cases and Wuhan, where the outbreak started, has seen a drastic decrease in new cases.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci,  said on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ that China’s cases are “coming down right now.” A few months back, China was at the peak of having the most number of cases of people testing positive for COVID-19 which led to a shortage of masks and other supplies leaving China in a desperate situation.

Seeing the desperate need for masks, Japan had stepped in to help China. Japanese authorities and NGOs joined together to donate masks to help China. The Japanese government, companies, and NGOs donated millions of masks to china. 

Almost remembering that, China sent in 30 tonnes of equipment to Italy on a flight organized by the Red Cross Society of China, the country's biggest charity. But while it is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Red Cross in China is government-controlled and gets most of its funding from the state.

"In this moment of great stress, of great difficulty, we are relieved to have this arrival of supplies. It is true that it will help only temporarily, but it is still important," said the head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca.

"We have a desperate need for these masks right now. We need respirators that the Red Cross will donate to the government. This is for sure a really important donation for our country," said Rocca.

Red Cross China is giving supplies to Red Cross Italy which will then donate to the government of Italy.