Riverside officials Wednesday requested donations of medical face masks, as well as monetary assistance, for healthcare professionals in Riverside’s sister city Jiangmen, China, where they’re running out of supplies while trying to contend with the novel coronavirus epidemic.
“I’m grateful for all the brave doctors and medical personnel who rose to the occasion in helping those stricken with this illness,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “We want to support our sister city as best we can during this public health issue.”
According to the Riverside International Relations Council, healthcare workers from Jiangmen have been in Wuhan — where the coronavirus originated — for weeks, providing emergency care. Wuhan is roughly 650 miles to the north of Jiangmen.
The RIRC is asking local physicians and medical groups to donate protective gear by Feb. 21. Donations should be dropped off at the Riverside County Medical Association, 3993 Jurupa Ave.
Anyone is also welcome to donate money to the cause — to be used to purchase medical protective gear recommended by the medical association — by sending cash or checks to the RIRC at P.O. Box 2221, Riverside, 92516.
Administrators are available to answer questions at 951-826-5692.
Along with Jiangmen, Riverside maintains sister city relations with seven other municipalities around the globe. Under the agreements, the cities host each other’s delegations, providing tours, civic engagements and other activities.
The coronavirus has claimed more than 1,100 lives in China, exceeding the death toll of the severe acute respiratory syndrome — SARS — outbreak of 2003. More than 45,000 infections have been documented in China, with a few hundred in other countries, according to the World Health Organization.
There have been 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, with seven of those in California, including one case each in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Temporary quarantine and processing sites have been established at major airports, including LAX.
On Tuesday, a 14-day quarantine of 195 U.S. State Department employees and their loved ones evacuated from the U.S. consulate in Wuhan and isolated at March Air Reserve Base ended without any of the evacuees showing signs of infection.