Sabah gets fresh boost of medical masks, supplies from China

Boxes of masks and other medical gear arrived from China to Sabah. — Picture by Julia Chan
Boxes of masks and other medical gear arrived from China to Sabah. — Picture by Julia Chan

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KOTA KINABALU, March 29 — Sabah has received a fresh supply of face masks and other medical supplies in a fast-tracked shipment from China, due to its relations with the republic.

China’s consul-general to Kota Kinabalu Liang Caide said that he ordered the shipment from home when it became apparent that Sabah is facing challenges with medical supplies as the Covid-19 epidemic worsened.

“We worked together with the China State Construction Company, China Railway and others to purchase these items and expedite it to Sabah for use.

“This is just the first batch, more will be coming soon,” he told a news conference here at the Kota Kinabalu Terminal 2 airport after seeing the arrival of the shipment.

Today, 83 boxes of face masks with 2,000 pieces arrived from Guangzhou through a chartered flight, along with some other protective gear and were sanitised upon arrival at the runway.

A total of 170,000 boxes of materials for sanitisers, test kits and personal protective suits (PPEs) will likely arrive next week and will be handed over to the state government.

Liang said that China and Sabah, as well as the rest of the country has been working hand-in-hand to share information about the deadly virus that has caused some 2,470 people to be infected and some 34 deaths in Malaysia so far.

Earlier in February, Sabah had raised some RM1 million in funds to help victims of Covid-19 in China following a ban on Chinese nationals to Sabah.

All direct flights were also halted.

Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal thanked China and Liang for their efforts now to bring the supplies here and hoped to continue their working relationship.

“Some of the medical equipment like test kits and special jackets are only available in China. We have been talking to them. We are working with the federal government and I have been also talking to people with access to the equipment,” said Shafie.

“We are working on getting them,” said Shafie.

The medical supplies will be given to frontliners who are working with trying to contain the coronavirus in the state.