China has reportedly dispatched an aircraft carrying over 500,000 masks to Greece to help the country combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic. The aircraft landed at Athens International Airport on March 21 with the supplies and the Health Minister of Greece, Vassilis Kikilias, was among those at the airport to receive it.
According to the reports, China has lately been involved in the PR offensive to counter the criticism by sending medics and supplies to countries across the globe. The masks are the donations by the Chinese public electricity company State Grid and Greek electricity supplier Admie, in which the Chinese firm held a 25 per cent stake.
Airport officials said in a statement that the load comprised of mainly FFP2 masks reserved for the hospitals. According to reports, Greece has been facing a shortage of masks and other medical equipment. Beijing and Athens share a strong commercial relationship for over a decade, especially since after terminals in the port of Piraeus (near Athens) were sold to the Chinese shipping giant Cosco by Greece, as per agency reports.
Greece’s health care system has been grappling due to the long-standing debt crisis due to which, the country had to seek assistance from its ally China. At least 530 confirmed cases, and over 13 fatalities have been recorded in the country from the COVID-19 disease as per the reports. Greece has installed strict health screenings at its airports and is sending passengers suspected carrying virus strain on the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The government reportedly adopted drastic measures to limit movement following the first death recorded on March 12. It scrambled to shutter establishments and banned the assembly of more than 10 people. The ministry of civil protection of Greece instructed citizens to self-quarantine at home, warning that a complete mandatory lockdown will be imposed if the government's recommendation were not seriously heeded, confirmed an agency report.