10,000 face masks have been sent to Cork by the Minzu University of China (MUC) in Beijing, a partner university to University College Cork.

UCC and MUC have been partner universities for a number of years, and together they organised the delivery to frontline healthcare workers in Cork.

Separately, UCC alumni in China have also made donations so that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be purchased for frontline healthcare workers.

UCC’s Beijing Office organised the delivery of face masks and gowns to healthcare workers, using donations made by alumni who reached out to offer support to their alma mater during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first delivery of face masks was made to Cork University Hospital last weekend.

Emma Connolly, UCC International Office, says the mutual support across the UCC community has offered ‘a silver lining’ at an uncertain time.

“Since the end of January, we have been sending messages of support to our Chinese community,” says Emma.

“Little did we think that this would come full-circle, and we are now inundated by goodwill messages from China and offers from alumni to send us PPE.

“A definite silver lining of these very strange times we find ourselves in, is the strength of genuine mutual support felt by all involved in Sino-Irish relationships.”

Last month, UCC took the opportunity to make the delivery of parchments to recent graduates living in China that little bit more special.

The university’s International and Beijing Offices arranged for each graduate to receive face masks and a specially-designed bookmark in honour of their graduation, as well as their parchment.

Many of these graduates had been planning to return to Cork in February for their conferrings, but were forced to cancel their travel plans due to the pandemic.

Upon receiving their packages, several of them took to social media to share photos of the special deliveries, to share a glimpse into how they were marking the occasion during lockdown.