The increasing number of confirmed coronavirus cases in China is causing the country to face a severe shortage of resources to defend against the epidemic. As the epidemic gains momentum globally, Tzu Chi volunteers around the world are joining hands to take action. Tzu Chi chapters in Indonesia and Thailand had earlier ordered substantial quantities of protective clothing, face masks and disinfectants to be delivered to China in batches with the assistance of local Tzu Chi volunteers there.
Tzu Chi Malaysia has been initiating relief measures against the epidemic since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. The first batch of 810,000 medical gloves was distributed to hospitals across the high-risk province of Hubei after arriving in China on February 5, 2020 by air and land transport arranged by AirAsia. The second batch of supplies, consisting an estimated 190,000 medical gloves and 45,000 surgical masks, arrived on the same day in Chengdu and was dispensed to hospitals and charitable organizations in China’s major cities such as Sichuan and Beijing by local Tzu Chi volunteers.
In view of the urgency of the epidemic spreading throughout China, Tzu Chi Malaysia continues to provide relief to frontline healthcare personnel by actively sourcing for medical supplies, including surgical masks, N95 face masks, protective clothing, protective footwear, latex gloves and disposable bedsheets, to be delivered in batches to various virus-hit regions across China. Tzu Chi volunteers have been cooperating closely with manufacturers to expedite the packing and delivery processes.
Tzu Chi’s current priority is to provide these supplies to high-risk areas in China. The same assistance will also be rendered to other countries or regions faced with shortage of supplies should the need arise. In addition, the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) has delegated to Tzu Chi Malaysia the task of providing translation services and daily supplies to citizens and non-citizens returning from Wuhan who have been quarantined.
Tzu Chi branches worldwide are keeping up with guidelines to guard against the epidemic by urging all visitors to their premises to monitor their temperature, wear face masks and practise frequent hand-washing. At the same time, the organization has also launched a global movement to advocate vegetarianism as a means of contributing to disaster mitigation, in hopes of keeping epidemics at bay to ensure health and peace for all.