Protective gear from China on the way


KUCHING: More supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) are being shipped from China to our shores.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the items were expected to arrive on April 21.

There is a shortage of PPE in the hospitals across the state for the use of frontliners and medical staff battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The initial plan was for the PPE and kits to be flown directly using private chartered flights and MASKargo from China to Kuching.

“But due to the long wait to obtain a flight permit from China’s civil aviation authorities and their stringent requirement, a decision was made to transport the items by sea,” the deputy chief minister told a press conference at Wisma Sumber Alam yesterday.

Awang Tengah said the purchase of the items was coordinated by the sponsors, namely the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) and Sarawak Timber Association (STA).

Among the items being transported are 10,000 pieces of Covid-19 test kits, 5,000 protective medical coveralls, 10,000 insulation gowns, 200 boxes of medical gloves, 10,000 medical boot  covers and 5,000 medical goggles.

Also shipped were 5,000 face shields, 10,000 N95 medical protective masks, 105,000 disposable medical masks and 10,000 medical head covers.

“The cargo is now on its way to Kuching and once we receive it, we will hand it over to State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) for delivery to the Health Department and other frontliners.

“The contribution by the sponsors is worth RM2 million and we thank the sponsors for making the order earlier on,” he said.

Yesterday, the deputy chief minister also presented 100,000 face masks for the use of frontliners at a short ceremony at Wisma Sumber Alam.