STA, 13 February 2020 - Slovenia will send over 1.2 million face masks to China to help it contain the coronavirus outbreak. The shipment is due to be dispatched to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, this week, the government said on Thursday.
The face masks are a donation of the Slovenian branch of Kylin Prime Group (KPG), a Chinese-controlled company that has amassed a majority stake in the savings and loans bank Hranilnica Lon and is currently blocked by regulators from exercising its voting rights.
The company had donated the masks in response to a Foreign Ministry request for donations and the masks will be shipped out of Vienna as part of an EU shipment of emergency aid to China. Slovenia will cover up to EUR 20,000 in transportation costs.
Stanislav Lotrič, deputy head of the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, told the press as the aid was being dispatched that there had been no problems with collecting the aid in Slovenia.
He however suggested that globally it was becoming hard to meet the demand for masks, which could prove a problem.
The masks were sent to Vienna, from where they are expected to be flown to Wuhan in an EU Civil Protection Mechanism aircraft together with donations from Austria, Hungary and Czechia by Monday at the latest.
The government has also approved a EUR 60,000 emergency donation to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to fight the coronavirus outbreak.