SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Direct Relief has provided several shipments of personal protective gear to aid in the battle against the Coronavirus outbreak.
On Thursday, 350,000 N95 masks and other requested protective items were delivered to Chinese hospitals who are located in the center of the outbreak and have the most Coronavirus patients.
The Goleta-based nonprofit says they've sent a total of 672,000 N95 and surgical masks to hospitals in China since Jan. 27.
The shipments have gone to the biggest hospitals in Wuhan, Xiaogan and Huanggang - the three cities with the highest reported cases of coronavirus.
Other hospitals in China have also requested support from Direct Relief. The nonprofit is allocating the protective gear from their existing reserve while also working to obtain more gear from manufacturers and distributors.
About two-thirds of Direct Relief's reserve of masks have been used and they expect more of that reserve will be needed elsewhere in China and in California where a handful of cases have been confirmed.
“We realized quickly it would be hard to replenish our supplies due to the global shortage of personal protective equipment, so we’re looking at how we allocate as much as possible to these hospitals for immediate needs while retaining the ability to respond to emerging needs and simultaneously replenishing inventories” said Andrew MacCalla, Direct Relief’s VP of emergency response.
Direct Relief says a number of private sector companies are funneling assistance for China through Direct Relief, including large donations from Pfizer, Eli Lilly, 3M, and Amazon. The shipments are being sent through FedEx which has provided transportation and logistics support.
For more information about Direct Relief, visit their website.