In the process, the country has quickly burned through its substantial stock of medical supplies. Responding to this, Qatar Airways is volunteering free air cargo transportation for medical relief aid in coordination with Chinese Embassies and Consulates worldwide.
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The first delivery of medical relief aid by Qatar Airways Cargo was flown to Shanghai on 2 February. This shipment included 100,000 medical-grade N95 respiratory masks as well as 2,700 medical-grade disposable latex gloves. These items will go to healthcare professionals at hospitals in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the virus.
According to Yahoo Finance, the state-owned airline will also be independently donating millions of medical-grade masks and sanitization bottles to areas in China where the supplies are most in need.
Chinese businesses and communities in Qatar alone have already donated 700kg of medical aid. This number will grow as medical supply donations from Chinese communities worldwide come in.
In fact, donations from these communities are flooding-in worldwide due to reports of shortages of medical supplies reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Qatar Airways Cargo freighters are part of the Qatar Airways global network. This includes 170 destinations that feed into its China cargo gateways located in the cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Going by the name the “Green Channel”, this initiative for complimentary air transportation was introduced in a joint announcement by Qatar Airways and the Chinese Embassy in Qatar:
“I would like to thank Qatar Airways for opening a ‘Green Channel’ for transporting these supplies…China and Qatar are good friends. We highly appreciate the support for the motherland of Chinese citizens and companies in Qatar, which further strengthens our confidence to win this battle. This will surely write another glorious story in the history of China–Qatar relations.” -His Excellency Mr. Zhou Jian, Chinese Ambassador to Qatar
Qatar Airways is also working closely with the WHO and local authorities worldwide to ensure the health and safety of its employees and passengers. In fact, the airline says its modern fleet includes High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems. These systems eliminate 99.97% of fine airborne particles from circulating air in cabins.
Although Qatar Airways is contributing through its cargo wing, it made the decision to suspend passenger flights to mainland China as of 3 February. The airline is reviewing its operations weekly to assess the situation. Qatar Airways will immediately reinstate its flights once restrictions ease.
However, Qatar Airways Cargo freighter services to Guangzhou and Shanghai remain unchanged. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet includes two Boeing 747-8 freighters, 19 Boeing 777 freighters, as well as five Airbus A330 freighters.
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