Mormon Newsroom
News Release

Church Distributes Medical Supplies in China to Combat Coronavirus

Latter-day Saints provide equipment to hospital in Shanghai

Updated February 4, 2020

As concerns regarding the respiratory illness coronavirus continue to rise, Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, inquired of his longtime friends in China as to what might be needed.

Through these efforts, the Church learned of a need for protective equipment at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, where supplies have been depleted because of the outbreak in Wuhan. In partnering with Project HOPE, plans are being made to distribute the needed supplies.

 

Downloadable video: SOTs / Broll

Working with Project HOPE, a plane from Salt Lake City is being chartered to transport supplies from the Church’s Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City. A second shipment will be sent from the Church’s storehouse in Atlanta. In all there will be 220,000 respirator masks, 870 pairs of protective goggles and more than 6,500 pairs of protective coveralls sent on 79 pallets of protective medical equipment.

In Shanghai, Latter-day Saint volunteers hope to assist in the receipt and distribution of the supplies to those in need.

President Nelson, a world-renowned heart surgeon for much of his life until called as an apostle of the Church in 1984, is well-known for performing heart surgery, including in China, where his final operation was performed in 1985. Through his professional career and service to the Church he has made lasting and enduring friendships. “I have had associations with the good people of China for decades. These are our dear brothers and sisters,” President Nelson said, “and we feel privileged to be able to offer some small measure of help. We pray for them and know God will bless them.”

Coronavirus was first identified in the Hubei Province of China, where the number of infections has reached nearly 6,000, with dozens more confirmed cases outside of mainland China. Governments and citizens around the world are stepping up precautions to contain the spread of the virus.

Update: February 4, 2020

Two shipments of supplies arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. One came on a plane from Salt Lake City; a second was sent from the Church’s storehouse in Atlanta. The shipments carried 220,000 respirator masks, 870 pairs of protective goggles and more than 6,500 pairs of protective coveralls sent on 79 pallets of protective medical equipment. Patrick and Maria Cheuk, two local volunteers with Latter-day Saint Charities, distributed both shipments of medical supplies Tuesday.

                   

“What we have done is nothing compared with the medical personnel on the frontline risking their lives,” Patrick said.

Mr. Cheuk said he has been encouraged to see others in his community doing their part to combat coronavirus.

“There was one man who selflessly went extra miles to share surgical masks with his needy neighbors,” he said. “Some updated information in social media to make others aware of the coronavirus situation in the community daily. Many others share food and hand sanitizers with friends.”

Patrick said this pattern of helping others — the essence of the Latter-day Saint ideal of following Jesus Christ — is deeply motivating.

“Nothing is worth more than giving ourselves to others in times of need,” Mr. Cheuk said.

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