A Chinese chef operating restaurants in Tallinn shipped 20,000 respiratory masks he purchased from hardware stores to help fellow countrymen in China.
While the heart of the debate in Estonia concentrates on whether we're perhaps paying too much attention to the novel coronavirus because it poses no real threat here, the situation in China is bad and Han Yang felt the need to help his country. He purchased over 20,000 face masks from hardware stores in Tallinn and Tartu and sent them to China, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.
"All Chinese living abroad are supposed to send masks home. That is what is expected of us. I am Chinese. I must help my family, my friends and my country," Han said.
Han turned to hardware stores because simpler masks used in medicine had already run out.
"Every time I inquired whether I could buy more masks, I was asked how many would I like. I always said, how many do you have?" Han said.
Laura-Liisa Laving who works at the Estonian embassy in Beijing confirmed there is a shortage of masks in China. Even though there are more people in the street now, and offices, restaurants and parks are gradually opened again, one needs a mask to be allowed in.
"People's temperature is taken when they enter public locations, like shops or restaurants, and you cannot get in without a mask," the consul said.
"The situation today is that the most popular mall that sells these masks says they sell 10,000 every day all over China and there are fixed limits on orders. Depending on the store, it's possible to buy ten masks per person," she added.
Employees of the Estonian embassy had to order masks from Japan and Tallinn because none could be found in Beijing.
Han Yang said some of the mask he shipped to China are still available and that he is glad to give them to Estonians in China.
Editor: Marcus Turovski