Chinese city donates 10,000 masks to Limerick in Covid-19 fight

Chinese city donates 10,000 masks to Limerick in Covid-19 fight

Mayor Michael Sheehan is photographed above with Paul Moore and John Doyle of the H&S PPE team with part of the consignment | PICTURE: LIAM BURKE/PRESS22

THE Chinese city of Hangzhoi has donated 10,000 facemasks to Limerick as the fight against Covid-19 continues.

The consignment was dropped off at Limerick City and County Council’s headquarters in recognition of the growing links between the cities and regions. It will be handed over to staff at University Hospital Limerick who will distribute them on the front-line.

Limerick and Hangzhou first began exploring links in early 2018 in conjunction with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Embassy in Ireland, and the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Hangzhou Municipal Government. The Irish Chinese community were involved in the relationship from the start.

It’s the second relationship Limerick has with a city in China, with former mayor Jim Long setting up trade partnerships with the city of Nanjing. This saw facemasks delivered east from Limerick earlier in the year.

Mayor Michael Sheahan has welcomed the donation, saying: “The Chinese know better than most the impact Covid-19 coronavirus is having on its society, and this gesture is a sign of the solidarity between Limerick and Hangzhou as we battle this virus. At a time when there is incredibly high demand for PPE gear for our frontline healthcare workers, the arrival of this generous gift is most opportune. It highlights the importance of Limerick seeking out new links around the world and of developing and nurturing the ones we have already so that there can be mutual benefits to both regions.”

John Doyle, head of services, at the UL Hospitals Group, added: “This is a virus that does not recognise borders and it is heartening to see international co-operation such as that between Limerick and Hangzhou. We are grateful to the council and to our friends in China and this donation will help us protect patients and staff and reduce transmission of Covid-19.”

The Mayor also thanked the people of Limerick for the courage, determination and selflessness they have shown over the past two months or so as we all deal with the ongoing restrictions to daily life imposed to protect our public health.

Mayor Sheahan said: “There is a resoluteness in the character of the Limerick people that shows that we can battle against adversity while keeping our spirits up. This resolve is shining through as we life with the restrictions set down by government which have become part and parcel of daily life.”

“I know it can be very frustrating having to abide by all these rules, but I urge everyone to continue to follow them. The government’s roadmap for re-opening society and business will return us to some semblance of normality.”

“I would like to pay tribute to all those who are working on the frontline in health care and also all the other workers who are deemed essential and who are continuing to provide services to the people of Limerick, and of course the volunteers who have answered the call and a working to support all those in the community as part of the Limerick Covid-19 Community Response or other volunteer groupings.”

The links between Limerick and Hangzhou can be traced back to 2018. In December that year, a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Hangzhou, China and Limerick City and County Council took place to explore areas of co-operation and collaboration between Limerick and Hangzhou in economy, trade, tourism, education, and culture sectors.

Mayor Sheahan was invited to represent Limerick at the Hangzhou International Sisters Cities Conference and to present a paper on Limerick’s experience of the digital economy at the 2019 Hangzhou International Sister Cities Mayors’ Conference.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.