Bristol’s twin city in China is sending us 100,000 face masks for frontline workers tackling the coronavirus.
Marvin Rees called the shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Guangzhou an “amazing gift”.
He said he had been left “frustrated” by delays in the Government dispatching PPE to Bristol but that the vital orders to shield the emergency services and carers from contracting Covid-19 were now beginning to come through.
Answering residents’ questions during a Facebook Live Q&A, Rees said: “We got some amazing news this morning that our sister city Guangzhou in China is sending us 100,000 face masks.
“What a gift to get. It shows us the importance of good relations.”
“PPE has been a national challenge,” Rees added. There have been some blockages but we did take our bulk order for adult social care on Monday.
“We had been waiting for that and we’d been frustrated ourselves but that order has arrived. That gives us provision up to the end of the week.
“We are expecting another order to arrive imminently and that should give us provision up to the end of next week.
“Then there is a new system being brought in by government which is like an eBay of ordering that we should plug into.
“They had tried to launch it and it didn’t quite work so I guess they are trying that again now.”
Rees said University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust chairman Jeff Farrar told him via a weekly Zoom call earlier that day that BRI staff on the frontline had protective equipment.
The mayor travelled to the southern Chinese city in 2016 on a three-day visit aimed at solidifying links between Bristol and Guangzhou, which have been twinned since 2001.
In 2018, campaigners presented Bristol City Council with a petition calling for the twinning arrangement to end until Guangzhou’s alleged links with forced organ harvesting have been investigated.
Main photo of Guangzhou by Vmenkov / Wikimedia Commons