Mon | May 25, 2020

Chinese donate food, protective gear to UHWI

Published:Thursday | April 9, 2020 | 12:21 AMDanae Hyman/Staff Reporter

Flying their Out of Many, One People flag high, several Chinese groups yesterday joined together to deliver food and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the doctors and nurses attached to the COVID-19 ward at The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

With the arrival of the novel coronavirus on local shores, with more than 60 cases being confirmed, Michael Ho Sue, an IT consultant and spokesperson for the groups, said the Chinese nationals, most of whom have been living in the island for more than 15 years, felt it was their responsibility to help.

“These are members of the Chinese community who want to help and they have come together. There are a lot of restaurant owners in the group, and they said the thing they know best is food, so they offered to provide food,” said Ho Sue. “When we spoke to the administrators, they said that anything that helps to lift the spirits of the people on the frontline to help fight the COVID-19 would be a welcome, and food, obviously, is a big lifter of spirits.”

The group donated 124 boxes of lunch, 9,000 gloves, 500 masks and 100 gowns, along with three cases of water.

Kevin Allen, CEO of The UHWI, said the donation would greatly benefit members of his team who are working assiduously to help those affected during the pandemic.

GRATEFUL FOR DONATIONS

“I am elated to accept these gifts on behalf of the hospital as it will go a long way in helping us to offer the kind of care that patients come to us and expect of us. It will also ensure that the staff, those who are on the front line, these PPEs will go a long way in promoting staff safety as we strive to offer care to the public,” said Allen.

He disclosed that several local and international agencies have also helped the hospital through donations.

According to him, a generator was also donated to provide backup power for ventilators should the need arise.

“We are getting help bit by bit, and we are also partnering with other agencies like the CHASE Fund; the NHF (National Health Fund); and the Ministry of Health, who is leading the charge, and it is a beautiful partnership working ... to provide the care that people need,” Allen said.

Yesterday, chief medical officer in the health ministry, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie, told a meeting of Parliament’s Special Select Committee discussing matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic that 43 persons were in isolation, of whom 10 were asymptomatic and two critically ill.

danae.hyman@gleanerjm.com