Vatican City, Feb 4, 2020 / 09:44 am
The Vatican has donated hundreds of thousands of face masks to China to help limit the spread of coronavirus, which has killed 361 people since the start of the new year.
The masks have been sent to the Chinese provinces of Hubei, Zhejiang, and Fujian, according to Vatican News. The medical supplies were donated as part of a joint initiative of the Office of Papal Charities and the Missionary Center of the Chinese Church in Italy, in partnership with the Vatican City Pharmacy.
Originating in Wuhan in Hubei province, the virus has spread to 23 countries with more than 20,000 confirmed cases. At least 427 people have died of coronavirus, all of them in mainland China, except one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.
Pope Francis prayed for people infected by the coronavirus during his Sunday Angelus prayer on Jan. 26. Since that date, the number of confirmed cases of the virus has increased by tenfold.