Feature: People in Singapore, China reciprocate face masks in times of COVID-19 pandemic

– When Wang Quancheng, head of the Singapore Hua Yuan Association, coordinated the association’s donation of personal protective supplies to the medical workers in China two months ago, he didn’t anticipate he would receive some from the Chinese side one day.

His association, grouping new immigrants from China to Singapore, has just been presented ten thousand medical facial masks from Xiamen City in southeast China’s Fujian Province. It was sent amid the city state has witnessed over 1,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases, and the government has announced to close off non-essential workplaces and place home-based learning for students from primary schools to universities for one month starting next week.

“We are very grateful, for it’s like receiving charcoal in a snowy day,” Wang said in his social media Wechat post.

The masks were jointly presented by the Xiamen Overseas Friendship Association, Xiamen People’s Government Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs and Xiamen Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese. The background of the poster with the mailing address on, is the beautiful scenery of Xiamen, a renowned tourist attraction and home of many overseas Chinese.

“If you are fine, then everyday would be a sunny day for me,” these words are also written on the poster.

“Because of you, wherever we go is full of sunlight, “the association echoed Friday in its official social media account on these masks from China, adding that they would distribute the facial masks together with the love they bear to its members and those needy in Singapore.

Besides the facial masks from Xiamen, packs of traditional Chinese herbal tea believed to help enhance the immune systems and other facial masks are on their way to Hua Yuan from Beijing and Jiangsu Province in east China.

Also a couple of days ago, Qiu Yuanxing, Counsellor and Consul General of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore, had sent them facial masks during his visit to the Hua Yuan Association. Qiu learnt from the Hua Yuan members their working and living conditions since Singapore reported its first COVID-19 cases on Jan. 23, and conveyed the regards of the Chinese embassy.

Back in the end of January, news of the COVID-19 outbreak in China and Chinese medical workers were faced with shortage of protective gears had motivated Wang Quancheng and his clan members. They donated money, tried every possible channel to do the outsourcing from Singapore, Russia, Republic of Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Then they lost no time in preparing the necessary documents and making transport arrangements, while many flights to China have been cancelled. In total they had managed to send 40 thousand facial masks and 40 thousand medical gloves, as well as goggles and protective garments, to Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou cities in Fujian Province and other destinations.

“We fought like in a wartime during those ten more days,” Wang recalled, with he himself helping to move some of the supplies to Singapore’s Changi Airport.

The virus respects no boundaries and by battling concertedly will we finally win the battle, Wang said.

The Chinese nation boasts a good tradition of helping one another, and under this global COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important for us to do so, and it manifests more obviously the deep emotions in doing so, he added.