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published 4.01.2020

The Onassis Foundation Provides 13.5 Million Protective Masks to Shield Doctors and Nurses in Greece

by Onassis Foundation USA

Through concerted efforts undertaken as swiftly as possible, the Onassis Foundation – in cooperation with the Greek Prime Minister’s Office and the Hellenic Ministry of Health – has sourced and secured 13.5 million protective masks, which the Onassis Foundation President, Mr Antonis Papadimitriou, will be delivering to the Minister for Health, Mr Vasilis Kikilias.

One airplane flew in from China Monday, March 30 and loaded with this now scarce resource have already touched down at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens, with the majority of the 27,000 boxes containing 13.5 million surgical masks, at a total cost of 7,750,000 euros, which arrived Tuesday, March 31. 

These medical masks will be distributed across the Greek National Health System by the Ministry of Health in order to meet pressing needs throughout the country, supporting in this way the fierce battle being waged by our doctors and nursing personnel against the pandemic unleashed by the Covid-19 virus. 

Through collective action and an investment in close cooperation, anything is possible. The Onassis Foundation chartered a Boeing 747 cargo jumbo jet, while Aegean Airlines contributed two A320 airliners. Following consultations with the Onassis Foundation, these aircraft are also transporting resources donated by third parties. Golden Cargo assisted in this carefully coordinated operation by overseeing and managing the masks’ collection and shipment from the People’s Republic of China. 

The Onassis Foundation could not stand idly by at this time of national and international crisis. We are stepping up in this present moment of need, our gaze fixed firmly on the future. This initiative is the very least we could do to thank the country’s medical and nursing professionals for their incredible work. We stand – always – by society’s side, supporting everyday heroes who show us the way, so that we can take that next step forward together, with a clear sense of our responsibilities as both individuals and as a community. We’re staying home, but not out of this. United, even when apart, we can win this fight.