KUCHING, April 9: The much-awaited medical supplies including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical frontliners in Sarawak safely arrived at Kuching International Airport (KIA) at 3.43pm today.
Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who was representing the State Disaster Committee at the airport, said the PPE will be redistributed to all government health facilities in Sarawak as soon as possible.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had earlier announced an allocation of RM10 million for the purchase of these supplies and to help all the government hospitals and clinics in Sarawak.
Meanwhile, political secretary to Abang Johari, Michael Tiang (who was representing Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian) revealed that the cost to purchase the medical equipment was RM6.5 million while another RM1.7 million was paid to charter the plane.
The special flight, an Airbus A330 Cargo Freighter chartered by Sarawak Government departed Shanghai International Airport, China at 10.18 am local time.
East Coast Freight Forwarders (S) Sdn Bhd had arranged for the collection from suppliers in Weihai city, Shandong Province, China and delivered to Shanghai Pudong Airport, which was about 1,000 km.
The 50-tonne cargo totalled 3,221 packages and among the items highly needed during the Covid-19 pandemic were medical protective goggles (50,000), KN95 respirators (125,880), surgical masks (900,000), medical protective overalls (50,040) and medical protective shoe covers (50,040).
Upon arrival at KIA, four units of 40 ft containers and three trucks were used to pick up the load.
East Coast will also provide logistics support to distribute the medical supplies to 36 hospitals throughout Sarawak.
Meanwhile, the State Health Department in a statement said they were overwhelmed with gratitude for the generous donation of PPE from Sarawak Government.
“The donation is not only to support our medical front liners in hospitals and health clinics throughout Sarawak, but it is also a sign of support from the State Government that is working hard to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Sarawak. This donation very much improves the availability of PPE in Sarawak Health Department facilities. Together we win this war,” the statement said. —DayakDaily