The Vatican has sent up to 700,000 medical face masks to China in an attempt to help diminish the spread of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Packed in bags of 10 and sealed with the pope’s coat of arms, the masks were sent to Hubei, Zhejiang, and Fujian—three provinces in China that appear to be the most affected by the virus.
Papal almsgiver Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, director of the Vatican pharmacy Fr. Thomas Binish, and Vice-rector of the Pontifical Urbanianum College Fr. Vincenzo Handuo, spearheaded the operations, along with the Chinese Christian community in Italy.
In recent weeks, the world has seen mass hysteria with millions of people in lockdown, along with suspended flights to and from China, as a result of the contagious coronavirus (2019-nCov). According to a report, the total infections had climbed past 31,000 and has already caused 636 deaths in China alone. With no proven cure as of writing, people are keen and started to rely on using face masks to protect themselves. But with the mortality rate rising every day, there has been a dramatic increase in face masks being bought and people are scrambling over short supply.
“I hope the supplies could reach where they are needed as soon as possible, so that people who are suffering the disease could feel the concern from the Holy See,” Father Handuo tells The Global Times. “The whole world is standing together to fight the virus,” he adds.