The two provinces have very warm ties, and will continue to provide mutual assistance
Translated by Alexis Veenendaal
The friendly ties that the Province of Groningen maintains with the Chinese province of Hunan (67 million inhabitants) has resulted in the Chinese province sending the UMCG and Groningen GP’s (Family Doctors) with thousands of masks, as reported by the Dagblad van het Norden.
King’s Commissioner René Paas wrote on LinkedIn: “the difference in scale between the province of Groningen and Hunan (more inhabitants than the United Kingdom) is enormous.”
But still, Groningen and the southern Chinese province have a bond. And so, earlier this month, Paas wrote a letter to Xu Dazhe (Governer of Hunan Province), to note that the two Provinces stand together.
Hunan was one of the first provinces where the Covid-19 coronavirus emerged and spiked in numbers. Thanks to extreme measures, it seems that the authorities have succeeded in extinguishing at least the first wave of the virus. Some travel and social distancing measures have now been lifted.
The weight of the corona crisis is now in Europe. Paas received a reply letter from Xu Dazhe last week, containing messages of support such as “humanity shines through the dark cloud of the pandemic”.
But, there is more in the letter. It announces that Hunan wants to help Groningen. In their messages to their Groninger counterparts, officials in Hunan have now promised to supply thousands of face masks.
After contacting the Crisis Team General Practitioners Groningen about this, it seems that our Chinese friends will supply masks, aprons and disinfectants, helping with an overwhelming need for these things.
The supplies will also go to the GPs in Groningen and to the UMCG. All the materials will be checked for Dutch and European safety standards first, then sent forward to the province of Groningen.
“I wish you all the best and good health!”, Xu Dazhe concludes his letter to Paas. “Hope that the friendship between Hunan and Groningen can be even closer!”