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Society of Jesus Donates Surgical N95 Masks to Aid Healthcare Workers in Hubei Province Battling COVID-19

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“It is our privilege to support your meaningful mission with our humble donation. Please stay safe and healthy for your loved ones and your mission. With our earnest prayers and blessings!” Fr. Stephen Chow SJ, Provincial of the Chinese Province. 

The Society of Jesus has donated 1,800 surgical N95 masks[i] to Jingzhou No.1 People′s Hospital in Hubei Province via The Beijing Center (TBC).   

Approved by Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the donation was coordinated and arranged by The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies, the Jesuit education center and intellectual hub operating in mainland China since 1998. “The Society of Jesus is a Society of solidarity. This small gesture is a symbol of that wide and deep solidarity,” said Fr. José Magadia SJ, General Counsellor and Regional Assistant for Asia Pacific.  

Earlier this month, Chinese authorities stated that there is an urgent need for medical supplies, including surgical N95 masks, to battle the COVID-19 outbreak which has killed more than 2,996 people and infected over 87,728.  

Jingzhou city, about 220 kilometers (137 miles) west of Wuhan, is one of China’s smaller cities in Hubei Province. Though not prominently appearing in international media, Jingzhou city has been greatly affected by the outbreak. With over a thousand infected, healthcare workers are grappling with certain medical supplies shortages.   

TBC staff have been in direct contact with the Jingzhou No.1 People’s Hospital, confirming the serious need for surgical N95 masks and coordinating the delivery to their healthcare workers, said Dr. Simon Koo, Executive Director of The Beijing Center. “TBC is honored to be the facilitator and platform connecting the Jesuits to mainland China. We thank the Society for the generous donation and continued support during this challenging time.”  

After arriving in Beijing from Canada, the surgical masks have been sent to Jingzhou No.1 People′s Hospital. These masks offer more protection and are designed to prevent 95% of small particles from entering the nose and mouth area.  

Those responsible for the charitable operation are Fr. Arturo Sosa SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr.  José Magadia SJ, General Counsellor and Regional Assistant, Asia Pacific, Fr. Stephen Chow SJ, Provincial of the Chinese Province, and Dr. Simon Koo, Executive Director of The Beijing Center. 

“It is our privilege to support your meaningful mission with our humble donation. Please stay safe and healthy for your loved ones and your mission. With our earnest prayers and blessings!” Fr. Stephen Chow SJ, Provincial of the Chinese Jesuit Province. 

[i] A surgical N95 mask is a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator that has also been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a surgical mask. A N95 respirator mask is a safety device that covers the nose and mouth and helps protect the wearer from breathing in some hazardous substances, designed to protect the wearer from small particles in the air which may contain viruses. 


About The Beijing Center 

Established in 1998 by Ron Anton, S.J., The Beijing Center (TBC) is a not-for-profit center of higher education and research in mainland China committed to fostering mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world through cultural exchange, education, and research. 

In its architecturally unique Beijing facility on campus of University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), TBC hosts students and scholars to study the Chinese language, culture, and all things China in China.  Since 2002, TBC has partnered locally with UIBE, a top-tier Chinese public research university. Throughout the years, over 2,000 students have spent a semester abroad at TBC and approximately 300–400 per year come to TBC with short-term faculty-led programs from all over the world. 

TBC maintains a research library with over 27,000 volumes in English, including rare books and maps, and hosts conferences, guest lectures, and seminars.  Considered to be the largest English language library about China on the mainland, TBC has hosted numerous scholars from China and worldwide to assist with their research.  

TBC serves as a hub for the international Jesuit higher education network in mainland China. What makes us unique is our place in a long and storied tradition, starting with Matteo Ricci, of Jesuit learning engaging with Chinese culture. This tradition teaches us that true cultural engagement starts with friendship.