Embrace Relief received an urgent call from the Anatolia Cultural and Dialog Center in Hong Kong, desperately asking for surgical masks to combat the spread of the coronavirus. As of February 8th, the virus has killed 638 people and infected 31,535, of which 4,826 are in critical condition, according to the Washington Post.
A surgical mask is one of the most basic and least expensive medical tools used to combat illness from spreading. The National Health Commission of China urges every person to wear a mask at all times while in public; a person is considered a threat if they do not comply, in the epicenter of the outbreak. The masks reduce the spread of any germs by 80%, which lowers the chance of contracting the virus. Due to the worldwide high demand for medical supplies, surgical masks are virtually obsolete. These masks can only be worn for 8 hours a day, yet, many are forced to wear the same mask for multiple days. Now, the masks are 3x above average market price due to the rate of inflation.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus is a “large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. Some infect people and are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)”. Moreover, the WHO states the virus is most commonly spread through “respiratory droplets,” which is the bacteria that come out when you cough or sneeze without using a tissue or covering with your elbow. Therefore, medical masks are the first line of defense from protecting oneself against contracting the virus.
Surgical masks will be primarily distributed to vulnerable communities and frontline workers in Hong Kong and China.
As a global community at risk of a worldwide pandemic, Embrace Relief is asking you to join us in providing this essential need to prevent further virus outbreaks. You can help by making a donation or sending boxes of surgical masks to Embrace Relief located at 18 Passaic Ave Unit #1, Fairfield, New Jersey, 07004.
If you would like to learn more about the coronavirus and how you can protect yourself, visit here: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
[Photo]: Volunteers in protective suits disinfect a railway station as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Changsha, Hunan province, China, Feb. 4, 2020. CNS Photo via Reuters