China donates coronavirus supplies to Italy via China Red Cross

A Chinese team of experts with head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca

A planeload of medical supplies, including masks and respirators, has arrived in Italy from China to help the European country deal with its growing coronavirus crisis…

Italy is now the worst-affected nation in the world after China, since the contagion came to light there on February 21…

The outbreak risks overwhelming Italian hospitals, and some key supplies are running low.

In contrast to China, Italy’s partners in the European Union earlier this month refused Rome’s requests for help with medical supplies as they looked to stockpile face masks and other equipment to help their own citizens.

A team of nine Chinese medical staff arrived late on Thursday with some 30 tonnes of equipment on a flight organised by the Red Cross Society of China.

“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.

In a separate development, Chinese businessman Jack Ma, who is the founder of the Alibaba Group and among the world’s richest people, offered to donate 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million masks to the United States, which on Friday declared a national emergency over the outbreak.

…Jack Ma said: “Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus.”…”We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!”

Over the past weeks, Ma’s organisations have helped provide similar supplies to virus-hit countries such as Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain.

I’m not certain if today’s generations know much of the history, of the role often assumed by charities like the Red Cross, globally and in individual nations in time of disaster. Whether war or natural disasters, the Red Cross societies can typically be counted upon to provide aid and comfort to victims regardless of political context. Flags and elections don’t count as much as lives at risk.

BTW, I didn’t learn of this aid to Italy from the mainstream channels on American television. Which is why I rely on more international news sources, anyway.

2 thoughts on “China donates coronavirus supplies to Italy via China Red Cross

  1. Aasgeier says:

    Trump offers ‘large sums’ for exclusive access to coronavirus vaccine : German government tries to fight off aggressive takeover bid by US, say reports (Guardian)
    (Die Welt): “The governments of Germany and the United States are wrestling over the German-based company CureVac, which is working on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, reported German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.”
    “The prominent German media outlet reported, citing unnamed sources, that US President Donald Trump was offering large sums of money to German scientists working on a vaccine. He wanted to secure exclusive rights to their work, the newspaper reported.
    Trump was doing everything he could to secure a vaccine for the United States, “but only for the US,” the newspaper quoted an anonymous German government source as saying.
    The newspaper reported that the German government has tried to offer the company financial incentives to remain in Germany.
    On Sunday, however, the head of CureVac’s biggest investor said that an exclusive contract with the US was out of the question.
    “We want to develop a vaccine for the whole world and not individual countries,” the chief executive of dievini Hopp Bio Tech Holding, Christof Hettich, told the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper.”

    The White House has been contacted for comment.

  2. 关系 says:

    “An influential former Chinese property tycoon and outspoken critic of President Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic has gone missing, according to friends.
    Ren Zhiqiang, a member of China’s ruling Communist Party and a former top executive of the state-controlled property developer Huayuan Real Estate Group, has not been contactable since March 12, three of Ren’s friends told Reuters.
    The 69-year-old had written an essay taking aim at Xi’s February 23 speech. In the essay, Ren criticized Beijing’s efforts to combat COVID-19 which he shared with a few people. Copies were later widely circulated online.”
    See also “Coronavirus exposes the divide between China’s rich and poor”
    “The coronavirus outbreak in China has come down hard on the country’s poor who cannot afford to be quarantined, have less access to supplies, and do not have the money or the connections to leave the country.”

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