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Donations from China reaching Spain as country struggles to cope with coronavirus contagion

(Xinhua)    08:43, March 25, 2020

MADRID, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Donations of sanitary equipment from the Chinese government, companies and the Chinese community in Spain are starting to arrive in the country as Spain is battling a severe coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed 2,696 lives and infected almost 40,000 people.

Spain right now has the second highest number of coronavirus infections in Europe after Italy. And the Chinese government and companies are doing their best to help, as are many Chinese expatriates living in Spain.

According to a report from the Chinese Embassy in Madrid, a shipment of materials sent to help combat the epidemic arrived at Madrid's Adolfo Suarez-Barajas Airport on March 22.

The shipment included 50,000 face masks, 10,000 protective suits and 10,000 protective glasses, 10,000 pairs of surgical gloves, 10,000 covers for shoes and 834 nucleic acid detection kits for 20,000 people. The supplies were received by the Spanish government for quick distribution.

Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Chinese tech giant Huawei, recently donated a million face masks to Spain. King Felipe VI of Spain had thanked him for his generosity.

A further 500,000 face masks donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation arrived in the city of Zaragoza on March 17 and were also handed over to the Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare, while China-Europe freight train that runs between Yiwu in east China's Zhejiang province and Madrid, the Spanish capital, will bring further donations of medical equipment in the second week of April.

What's more, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Europe) and the China Construction Bank, as well as Xiaomi, OPPO and other Chinese companies have all announced donations of sanitary equipment to Spain to show solidarity with the Spaniards.

Chinese expatriates in the country have also been generous in offering their help. Chen Jianxin, president of the Association of Chinese Residents in Spain, told Xinhua that the Chinese community in Spain had made donations of materials such as face masks, protective clothing and hand cleaning gels, to the local authorities, police and hospitals in various cities.

Xu Songling, president of the Federation of Associations of the Chinese Community, also explained that the community has prepared videos to help raise awareness of COVID-19 and keep people safe in such difficult times and to prevent panic.

And a lot more people making donations prefer to remain anonymous, saying merely "We are the Chinese community."

"We want to thank the Chinese community in Zaragoza for the donation of face masks, gloves and thermometers to the Zaragoza police. There is no doubt that difficult situations promote solidarity and this is a clear example: a thousand thanks!" read a message on social media from the City Hall in Zaragoza, northern Spain.

As Spain moves nearer to the peak of infections, the field hospital set up in the IFEMA exhibition center in Madrid is now operational with 5,500 beds.

The Spanish government will ask a special session of Parliament to be held on Wednesday to further extend the State of Alarm originally declared on March 14 to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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