Wednesday Mar 11, 2020
A Pakistani family living in Hong Kong has responded to coronavirus fears by distributing face masks and sanitary products among the local people to help them stay safe and healthy, reported al-Jazeera on Tuesday.
The demand of surgical masks has burgeoned over the past few months as the novel coronavirus has spread globally. The epidemic has created panic around the world with thousands contracting the highly contagious disease. The disease has already claimed 4,251 lives and affected over 117,339 people globally. Fortunately, over 60,000 people have recovered so far.
Over the past many days, people were seen queued up in very long lines in many cities. Hong Kong is no exception, where the panic has caused people to go into frenzy buying the surgical masks and soon the shelves of most pharmacies were cleared.
“The people will avoid you in pubic if you aren’t wearing a mask,” Sheraz Jahangir, a salesman at Lala Al-Sheikh Trading Company, told Qatari network al-Jazeera. The family has distributed thousands of free face masks, gloves and other sanitary products among the locals.
“It was my father-in-law who founded this business,” said Amna Nadeem, shop owner’s daughter-in-law. “He started the business at a very small level and it’s grown into something that we are now able to provide free masks and water to whoever wants them.”
The family’s patron, Lala Al-Sheikh, emigrated to Hong Kong from Pakistan years back. He established his family business. He used to sell ornaments imported from Nepal, Pakistan, India and China.
After the disease outbreak, he started purchasing face masks and other relevant items in bulk every week to dole them out to local people at different medical stores around the area.
Lala says the charitable act gives him immense pleasure. “I’m giving away these items of my own accord as it is the good deeds that alone are of some help in the next world,” he said.
“Every week, I buy the supplies with my profits. No one is helping me in the pursuit.” Lala said his children are assisting him in packing the products and distributing them to the ones who need them. Lala said he previously gave away the items as well.