Billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation has put $160 million towards a partnership with Fortescue Metals Group and the Chinese government to bring crucial life-saving medical supplies and equipment to Western Australia, and ramp up COVID-19 testing across the state.
Billionaire Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest's Minderoo Foundation has put $160 million towards a partnership with Fortescue Metals Group and the Chinese government to bring crucial life-saving medical supplies and equipment to Western Australia, and ramp up COVID-19 testing across the state.
Dr Forrest said today the first plane-load of supplies was leaving Shanghai in China today and will touch down in Perth after a 10-hour flight.
Aiming to resolve Australia's extreme shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment), two more flights are due to arrive on Friday and Saturday this week.
This will include more than one million N95 equivalent face masks, 400,000 surgical masks, 2.3 million medical-grade gloves, 100,000 nasal swabs, 200,000 medical coveralls, 10,000 medical goggles, 5000 touch-less thermometers and over 33 intensive care unit-grade ventilators.
Dr Forrest, who is chairman of Minderoo and former CEO of Fortescue, said the group's relationship with China allowed them to get a seat at the table in the face of unprecedented international demand for protective and medical equipment.
"Unprecedented times cannot be met with a precedented response," Dr Forrest said.
He thanked China's Australian ambassador Cheng Jingye and the Chinese people for their friendship to the people of Australia.
"They are now doing all they can to help us in our hour of need," he said.
The materials will be used to fill Western Australian needs first, with surplus equipment and supplies then being given to the Commonwealth.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook said the government would reimburse the foundation for the supplies purchased to allow the foundation to continue to "leverage its incredible equipment".
The foundation also aims to drastically increase WA virus testing from 400 a day to 10,000 a day.
China's Consul General in Perth, Dong Zhi Hua, said China was proud to stand with Australia against the virus.
"Very happy that today we are announcing the good news that the first flight of medical supplies will be arriving in Perth soon," Madame Dong said.
She praised Mr Forrest's previous support for China's battle against COVID-19, and said China would always reciprocate that assistance.
"These are extraordinary times, and this is an extraordinary achievement," she said.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-andrew-forrest-china-partnership-deliver-160m-worth-medical-equipment-supplies-western-australia/e5a99096-20ab-4125-85f6-68bcf6d74efe