A donation of medical supplies from China landed in Havana on May 6. The shipment included personal protective equipment (PPE) to support the Island’s ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donation, worth $42,500, included 6,000 N-95 surgical masks and 60,000 surgical masks and will be used by the Cuban public health system.
The 17 ton shipment of medical supplies arrived onboard an IL96-300 jet, a passenger plane, of the Cubana de Aviación airline.
It is the first time a passenger plane has been used to transport cargo. “but Cuba does not give up before adversity, less if it is about saving lives and Cubana de Aviación always has its wings ready when the country needs it,” the airline said in Twitter.
Chen Xi, the Chinese ambassador to Cuba said, “This new coronavirus knows no borders or nationalities. Only with mutual support can we protect each other. This is why Cuba and China both reject politicization and stigmatization of the pandemic, which has already claimed so many lives. Our nation is gradually defeating COVID-19 and we are counting on Cuba to do the same, thanks to the government’s actions and the people’s discipline.”
Cuba’s deputy head of the Communist party department of International Relations, Angel Arzuaga Reyes, expressed gratitude to China for its solidarity.
“At a time when the U.S. government is tightening its cruel, genocidal economic, commercial and financial blockade against our country, and hindering the acquisition and transportation of supplies needed to face the SARS-COV-2 virus, Cuba and China have provided an example of cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” the official said.
The plane was greeted at the José Martí International Airport by the president of the Cuban Civil Aviation president, Roberto Peña, the general director of the airline, Luis Manuel Ruiz, and other employees involved in the operation.
Cuba’s President, Miguel Díaz-Canel, expressed his thanks to the Chinese for the donation and their nation’s continuing solidarity and support during the COVID-19 crisis on his Twitter.
This is not the first time the Chinese government and companies have shown their generosity and solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 30 Chinese businesses have donated or supplied anti-virus materials to Cuba since the coronavirus outbreak began.