British Chinese communities donate 30,000 PPE gowns to NHS

By By Sun Wei in London Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/22 0:00:53

Representatives from British Chinese communities hand over a consignment of 30,000 PPE gowns to the NHS on Monday April 20th. Courtesy of Ping Zhang, China News Service

British Chinese community groups handed over a consignment of 30,000 protective gowns on Monday to help Britain's National Health Service (NHS) and frontline heroes in the fight against COVID-19.

The consignment arrived in the UK on April 17 with the assistance of the British Embassy in Beijing and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. About 70,000 surgical facemasks and other items of equipment are on their way.

As concerns over shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) intensify for the NHS in the fourth week of lockdown in the UK, the Chinese community across the country has tried to do their bit to help.

One such community effort led by C T Tang has raised funds and directed donations from China for the "We Care NHS" movement. Tang, who's also known as the brain behind the annual Chinese New Year celebrations in London, said it is a token of thanks. "This batch of 30,000 gowns represents the hearts and minds of more than 100 Chinese community groups and individuals who would like to show our appreciation to the NHS amid the pandemic, and to help in any way to protect the NHS staff in their selfless endeavour to save lives and beat the virus." 

"We are pleased to confirm the receipt of 30,000 protective gowns, which are essential and timely for our work fighting COVID-19, and to thank the British Chinese Community for this generous donation," David Lawson, chief procurement officer for Guys and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust, said at the brief handover ceremony at one of the NHS supply chain hubs.

The "We Care NHS" initiative began in late March after the lockdown was announced. Spearheaded by the London Chinatown Chinese Association and Zhejiang UK Association, the initiative has raised donations from various community groups up and down the country to urgently procure and deliver much needed PPE to NHS Hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries across the UK. Donations of PPE and ventilators have been made in London, Birmingham and many other parts of the UK since the beginning of April. 

The initiative runs concurrently with another donation organized by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the UK for the Lord Mayor's Appeal. That donation two weeks earlier included 20 ventilators and 1.86 million pieces of PPE for the NHS. By last weekend, more than 4 million pieces of PPE had been donated by Chinese businesses, Chinese community groups and individuals to the NHS and local care homes.

Across the country, the British Chinese Community Group will look at further requirements to continue to their support the NHS and care homes. 

The death toll reached at least 16,509 after 449 more fatalities in the UK on Monday, and the number of confirmed cases increased to 124,743 after 4,676 more people tested positive for COVID-19.

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