02/03/2020, 08.53
VATICAN-CHINA
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Pope Francis donates 600,000 medical masks to China to fight the coronavirus

The masks are a gift from the Holy See and the Chinese Christian communities in Italy. Card. Konrad Krajewski, the papal almsgiver;  director of the Vatican pharmacy, Fr. Thomas Binish; Fr. Vincenzo Handuo, vice-rector of the Pontifical Urbanianum College in charge of organisation. The masks will be distributed in Hubei, Zhejiang, Fujian. China Southern Airlines took care of transporting them for free to China.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis has donated 600,000 health masks to China to fight the coronavirus epidemic that is spreading in the country. Since January 27, four batches of medical masks have been collected by the Vatican pharmacy and Chinese Christian communities in Italy, China Southern Airlines has taken charge of transporting them for free to Wuhan (Hubei), the epicenter of the epidemic, and in Zhejiang and Fujian.

Those responsible for the charitable operation are Card. Konrad Krajewski,  the papal almsgiver;  director of the Vatican pharmacy, Fr. Thomas Binish; Fr. Vincenzo Handuo, vice-rector of the Pontifical Urbanianum College (photo 1), originally from the diocese of Mindong (Fujian).

The Holy See and the Chinese Christian communities in Italy paid for the masks; the Vatican pharmacy organized the collection and shipment. Yesterday the third batch of the masks  arrived in China. The parcels have the coat of arms of Pope Francis inside (photo 2). The fourth batch is scheduled for the next few days.

On January 26, the Pope, addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, prayed for people who were sick because of the virus that has spread in China. "May the Lord - he added - welcome the deceased in his peace, comfort families and support the great commitment already put in place by the Chinese community to combat the epidemic".

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