China Peaceful Unification Association in Turkey donated 10,000 surgical filter masks to a district municipality in Istanbul on March 23, 2020. (Xinhua Photo)
A Chinese association donates 10,000 surgical filter masks to a district municipality in Istanbul to help Turkish friends fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
ISTANBUL, March 23 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese association based in Turkey on Monday donated 10,000 surgical filter masks to a district municipality in Istanbul as a sign of solidarity with the country's fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
The representatives of the China Peaceful Unification Association delivered the masks to the Maltepe Municipality officials during a ceremony.
"With the rise of the COVID-19 cases in Turkey, we immediately began to think about how we could help our Turkish friends," Chen Wei, head of the association, told Xinhua.
"As we noticed that masks became scarce throughout Istanbul, we decided to supply these protection gears as much as possible for our comrades in the municipality," he continued.
The association, which has 388 members across Turkey, managed to find the masks at two separate distributors in central Istanbul and purchased 10,000 for 5 liras (0.76 U.S. dollars) each, according to Chen.
Celal Akgul, a municipal council member of the Maltepe Municipality, said they were grateful to see their Chinese friends not leaving them alone on such dark days.
"We started to have difficulties in providing masks to our workers on the field and our people in the district," Akgul told Xinhua.
In Akgul's view, sellers at the open-air bazaars across the district are among the most vulnerable group as they mostly do not wear masks or gloves to protect themselves from the virus.
"We are now able to distribute masks to our sellers and beef up security measures in our bazaars," he said.
Chen said that the association's donations would continue until Turkey would completely overcome the outbreak of the virus.
The total number of deaths from the virus in Turkey climbed to 30 and the number of confirmed cases to 1,236 on Sunday.
Last week, the Turkish government put limitations on the sales of some types of masks by mandating a doctor's prescription.