HANGZHOU, China, Feb. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — More than 110,000 face masks, purchased from European countries by cosmetics maker Proya, were delivered to frontline medical staff in China’s Hubei province on February 4. Accompanied by Proya executives, the face masks, including some 90,000 European standards-compliant masks (FFP3/FPP2, which outperforms N99/N95 in terms of filtration efficiency) and 20,000 disposable masks, were escorted by local police officers under the supervision of Hubei province government officials, as the delivery destination limits entry of non-locally registered
Wuhan, the epicenter of the 2019-nCOV outbreak, was put on lockdown on the eve of the Chinese New Year. On that day, Proya established a special group for epidemic response. With co-founder and CEO Fang Yuyou serving as the general director, the firm also formally set up a RMB15 million (approx. USD2.2 million) charitable public fund to enhance the effort to control and prevent further spreading of the 2019-nCoV virus. Proya has donated 4 million yuan to the cities of Wuhan, Wenzhou and Leqing as well as over 110,000 face masks to designated recipients. The firm will continue to do its utmost to meet domestic demand for supplies and to help prevent and control further spread of the disease.
Purchasing supplies from Europe for designated donations
According to Mr. Fang, their previous donations were mainly in cash. Coinciding with the Chinese New Year, the unexpected 2019-nCoV outbreak caused a severe shortage of medical supplies across China. As a result, Proya focused more on supplies purchases, in addition to cash donations.
Among the more than 110,000 face masks Proya purchased from Europe, 68,000 were donated to the 2nd People’s Hospital of Xishui in Huanggang, as the city faced a severity level in terms of the virus outbreak close to that experienced in Wuhan. As of February 3, Huanggang had reported 1,422 confirmed cases, of which 210 took place in Xishui, the second largest populous county in the city.
Purchasing the face masks was a tough task. Immediately after the lockdown in Wuhan, Proya appointed Pan Xiang, director of the firm’s European brand agency, to set up purchase teams. Due to tight supplies of medical protective devices in Europe, the purchase teams had to chase supplies in many European countries. The purchase task was even more challenging as Proya had to ensure the purchased items met the donation and use standards at China’s domestic hospitals.
“We visited a number of face mask makers across Europe. Notably, we spent over ten hours driving from Paris to Milan, as part of the purchase task. Moreover, we often worked all night to negotiate with our domestic colleagues due to the time difference,” said Pan.
Seamless transportation to ensure in-time delivery
How to deliver the supplies to frontline medical staff in Hubei province proved to be another challenge.
Applying for a fast path for the collection of donations with domestic and Hong Kong-based banks, negotiating with donation recipients on delivery issues and arranging for a flight to transport the medical supplies to China were all parts of Proya’s effort. The firm’s logistics staff was on call at the airport to ensure the fastest customs clearance. Wang Jianrong, general manager of Proya’s manufacturing facility, escorted the delivery over the course of the entire delivery route to ensure smooth delivery. Proya staff worked day and night during each and every link of the delivery process to ensure in-time handout of the supplies.
Each firm has instinctively taken on their corporate social responsibility and is doing their utmost in this urgent situation. Proya reconfirms its ongoing commitment via the immediacy of its response, noted Mr. Fang.