KATHMANDU, Feb 7: The government of Nepal Friday donated about 100,000 units of protective masks to the Government of China, as the republican country battles to contain the deadly coronavirus that has already killed 636 people—almost all of them in China except one in Hong Kong and one in Philippines—and infected over 31,400 globally.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Minister for Health and Population Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal handed over the masks to the Ambassador of China to Nepal Hou Yanqi amid a function at the MoFA.
The Government of Nepal has decided to donate 100,000 units of protective masks to the Government of the People’s Republic of China as a gesture of friendship to the Chinese people and the Government and solidarity with China’s fight against novel coronavirus, said MoFA in a press release.
Due to the China’s coronavirus outbreak, the demands of protective mask to prevent the infection which spreads through droplets from coughs and sneezes has surged in the global market resulting in shortage, some countries have reported shortages because of panic buying as the fears of global spread of the coronavirus mounts.
According to BBC, China produces around twenty millions masks each day under normal circumstances, which is estimated to be around half of all masks made globally.
However, the production in China has been cut to around 10 million due to the New Year holiday and the impact of the virus itself—which is not sufficient to meet the current demand in China.
China bought 220 million face masks between 24 January and 2 February, with South Korea one of the countries supplying them, BBC reported.