SINGAPORE (April 13): A couple of weeks ago, Lily, a Shanghainese contact of mine who is in the fashion manufacturing industry, asked if I needed masks. She gave a list of different types of masks she had available, and their prices. The cheapest were surgi-cal masks while N95 masks cost a lot more.

It is not just anecdotal evidence or statistics rolled out by China’s State Council Information Office, but also by updates from companies themselves: China is going back to work, slowly but surely.

According to media reports, China manufactures around 50% of glob-al masks and there is now a short-age. It also makes other PPE or personal protective equipment. As the West is totally immersed in fighting Covid-19, China has stepped up its technological prowess. China is exporting its expertise, helping economies in Europe, Africa and the Middle East to fight Covid. Research for a cure is being stepped up as well. Mainland news agency The Global Times says US agencies are now airlifting medical supplies from China to the US.

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