This week, nearly half a million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) are expected to arrive from China thanks to a donation by Joe and Clara Tsai. Much of the donated equipment, which will provide assistance in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the state of California, will be shipped to the University of California San Diego and other health care providers in our region.
UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said, "Our university is privileged to play a role in assisting Joe and Clara in providing their generous donation of masks and goggles to health care institutions in the greater San Diego community and other parts of California. This equipment is invaluable as our region prepares for a likely surge in the number of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic."
Joe Tsai is co-founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba. His wife Clara and their children are residents of San Diego. The Tsai family asked UC San Diego to assist in distributing the donated equipment to health care institutions in the San Diego community as well as other areas in California.
The couple have been involved with the university for several years with various campus programs: Clara Wu Tsai is a member of the Associate of the Chancellor's Thought Leaders Group, among other activities. Joe Tsai is involved with the 21st Century China Program at UC San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy, most recently offering unique insights at the program's 2019 Sokwanlok Distinguished Lecture. Owner of the Brooklyn Nets, he also owns the San Diego Seals indoor lacrosse team which partners with UC San Diego Health for the team's medical needs.
UC San Diego Health, the first local health system to care for COVID positive patients in the region, has been a leader in COVID-19 testing capacity with more than 700 per day currently and 1,000+ soon (this including processing tests for other local hospitals and testing all symptomatic first-responders in San Diego). Additionally, UC San Diego Health is leading in clinical trials to help identify a future treatment for this dangerous viral disease.
"Since we first became aware of COVID-19, UC San Diego Health made immediate efforts to secure the necessary medical and surgical supplies to protect and prepare our frontline health care workers," said Patty Maysent, CEO UC San Diego Health. "We are deeply grateful for this donation that further strengthens our ability to keep our health care workers safe as well as our ability to safely care for the community during the anticipated surge."
Flexport.org, the branch of freight forwarder Flexport that moves humanitarian aid for nonprofits and companies, funded and handled logistics for the shipments of PPE brought from Shanghai to San Diego.
In San Diego County as of Sunday April 19, there were 2,268 positive cases of COVID-19 and 71 deaths.
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