Chinese citizens living in Kenya repatriated a consignment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in seven planes just before Kenya recorded its first Covid-19 case.
This is according to the China Southern Airlines flight in its annual corporate social responsibility report at the US Security Exchange Commission.
The airline said that on February 3, 2020, it transported 3,000 PPE boxes to Guangzhou city which was the epicentre of the coronavirus in China.
“Chinese citizens and overseas Chinese living in Kenya collected more than 3,000 boxes of medical supplies,” China Southern Airlines stated according to Business Daily.
“When the cargo warehouse was filled, the flight crew and the passengers worked together to move these precious ‘life-saving supplies’”, the airline added.
The report added: “From the outbreak of the pandemic to the temporary suspension of the Nairobi route, there are seven such ‘mask flights’ that have provided valuable supplies for the front line of the fight against the pandemic.”
China’s Guangzhou city was the hardest hit by the pandemic. It reportedly started here before spreading to other parts of the country and the world at large.
PPEs were in high demand and China’s production was overwhelmed as it reported the first case of the virus in December 2019.
“Every mask, glove, and protective suit in the cabin seems to have a heartbeat. They come from Chinese compatriots who are separated by mountains and rivers.”
After Kenya recorded the first coronavirus case on March 12, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma donated 100,000 face masks and 20,000 testing kits to Kenya on March 24.
The Chinese government in April 2020 donated another consignment of PPEs to Kenya.
Both donations sparked controversy as reported by local dailies indicated that there was theft in both consignments as soon as they landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).