Malta has received one hundred thousand protective face masks donated by a Chinese company, which will be distributed by the Malta Medicines Authority to several entities engaged in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
This was announced by Foreign and European Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo at a press conference, during which he thanked Chinese film-making company Hongyi (Beijing) Culture Development Co. Ltd for its donation to the Maltese government. Minister Bartolo also thanked Malta’s Ambassador to China John Aquilina, as well as John Debono, director of Malta Triton Film Productions, which has extensive links with the Chinese company, for their instrumental role in receiving such a donation.
Minister Bartolo also praised the ongoing efforts between Maltese and Chinese experts to exchange best practices and lessons learnt on the containment of COVID-19.
“At a time when we are seeing the breaking down of supply chains and of the internationally accepted rules-based system of movement of goods and services, with export bans imposed by a number of countries seeking to protect their own territorial interest first, countries like Malta, which neither manufacture nor export certain protective medical supplies and devices, find solace in their longstanding bilateral ties.”
Minister Bartolo also praised Malta’s diplomatic corps, which continue to be instrumental in assisting local authorities to secure, nurture and maintain important supply chains of medical equipment, which are vital for the fight against this modern-day war against the virus. This in parallel to ongoing repatriation efforts, both vis-à-vis Maltese citizens and residents, as well as others seeking to leave Malta and return to their country of residence.
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Public Cleansing Deo Debattista explained that these masks will be distributed to several entities, including the Armed Forces, the Police Force, the Correctional Services, and the Cleansing and Maintenance Division.
Whilst thanking the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection for covering the shipping costs, Parliamentary Secretary Debattista stressed that protective face masks will not suffice unless people strictly observe the advice of our health authorities. In this regard, the Parliamentary Secretary strongly urged people to protect themselves and others by staying indoors. “Stay safe, stay at home,” he concluded.