Local nonprofit airlifts medical supplies to China to fight coronavirus

Local News

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) – Health officials around the world are working to contain the spread of a deadly virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning the public that the U.S. could see more coronavirus cases in the U.S.

The CDC is reporting at least 100 people are dead and thousands are affected with the coronavirus. Only five cases total have been confirmed in the U.S. with more pending. In Brunswick, one company is doing its part to help those affected in China.

Map International is a local non-profit that has provided medicine to the world for the last 65 years and now they’re working to combat the spread of coronavirus in China.

“This was just becoming a widespread issue and each day there were more and more people wearing masks. Each day I was seeing more and more security checking temperatures in the buildings, restaurants, and hotels,” Senior Manager of Disaster Relief at Map International, Jason Elliott said.

Elliott was in China for the start of this deadly virus but never came in contact with it. Local doctors who still don’t know much about the virus depend on the CDC for direction.

“The CDC tells us to be on the lookout for people that have been traveling, that have respiratory symptoms, and that have high fevers, but the specifics about the disease and how to distinguish it from some other things we don’t really know yet,” St. Joseph’s Candler doctor, John Rowlett said.

120 pallets were filled with medical gear that will go to China to help prevent the spread of disease. Map International will send 1.3 million masks, 10,000 hazmat suits and 280,000 pairs of gloves.

“We hear from our partners on the ground in China that there are nurses working full eight-hour shifts without taking a bathroom break or a meal break simply because of the fear that if they take the protective coveralls and protective masks off they’re not going to have more to replace them when they come back,” Elliott said.

Map International wouldn’t be able to do this without all the donations and the help of UPS. UPS will be providing air support to get the products to China.

Officials say there are currently no traces of the coronavirus in Georgia or South Carolina.

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