The new coronavirus (COVID-19) originated and spread across Wuhan, China and is now on its way to becoming a global epidemic.
The best ways to avoid further spread of the virus are wearing a mask, handwashing regularly and thoroughly, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and limiting outside activities. Unfortunately, the supply of surgical masks in Chinese medical facilities runs low as they became scarce in many areas.
On February 18, Airborne Rescue and Relief Operations With Search (ARROWS), comprised of A-PAD Japan and other organizations, arranged transportation of 504,000 masks to the International Health Welfare Institute (IHWI).
IHWI has played a vital role in promoting Japanese medical technology both domestically and internationally. The areas of their work range from introducing Japanese medical research institutions and medical professionals overseas, promoting international medical exchange programs, and training medical interpreters. In response to the virus outbreak, IHWI has been working tirelessly to prevent further infections. IHWI received a letter of appreciation from Fudan University in Shanghai on February 7.
The masks sent out from Saga, where A-PAD Japan is based, will be delivered to IHWI on February 20 in Yokohama before they will be delivered to Chinese medical facilities in desperate need of medical supplies.