Israel-based nonprofit aid agency SmartAID is supplying hundreds of thousands of masks and additional health-related items to hospitals and healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients in Hubei and Shandong provinces.

The massive effort, in partnership with DHL Global, was launched by SmartAID emergency response teams in Israel, Australia and the United States, working with Chinese partners.

Late Thursday night, the first shipment of masks left Tel Aviv for China, says SmartAID cofounder Shachar Zahavi.

“SmartAID, together with its Chinese partners, continues to prepare additional medical supplies which will be flown into China from various sites in Israel and across Europe,” Zahavi adds.

As of Friday, China reported that 1,716 medical workers have contracted the virus, now renamed COVID-19, and six of them have died. Overall, at least 1,527 people have died from the virus.

The majority of the more than 67,000 cases of coronavirus infection reported as of yesterday have occurred in Hubei province.

People in a subway in Shanghai wearing surgical masks to protect against coronavirus. Photo via Shutterstock

Two other Israeli agencies have sent supplies to help fight the epidemic, as we reported previously.

Israel’s Magen David Adom national emergency network sent 2,000 masks and 200 full protection kits to be distributed through 14 Chabad-Lubavitch outreach centers in China.

And Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID shipped emergency medical supplies and protective gear to the Chinese Ministry of Health in partnership with the Israel-China Chamber of Commerce, INNONATION and David Ashkenazi of ICCB Capital.