In this unprecedented Spring Festival of 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak affected everyone. With surging numbers of confirmed and suspect cases, Hubei soon got mired in severe shortage of medical supplies. Support was urgently needed. After consulting China Social Welfare Foundation and CDC experts, HSBC China learned that shortage of medical supplies was even more severe at hospitals in Hubei’s lower-tier cities and counties. While the whole country was suffering from a similar shortage at that time, our HSBC team immediately took the initiative to work with our customers and charity partners to purchase medical supplies eligible for donation that were soon sent to hospitals in Jingzhou, Suizhou, Tianmen and Macheng.
On the first day of the Chinese New Year, while most people in China were celebrating the festive occasion, our commercial banking colleagues from HSBC China left their holiday aside and started to contact customers in the medical sector for support with medical supplies. Within only two days, they received positive responses from six corporate customers.
To help address the ever-changing demand for and difficult access to medical supplies at the frontline of the anti-coronavirus fight, colleagues from Corporate Sustainability (CS) and business units of HSBC China soon set up a project office together with partners from China Social Welfare Foundation and local governments in Hubei. During this collaborative initiative, we kept close communication via a dozen Wechat groups and aligned our efforts throughout all steps including information update on needed supplies, searching for supplies, purchasing, payment, logistics and distribution.
Despite time constraints, we took prompt actions in a coordinated and organized manner during the Spring Festival holiday and eventually managed to send the first batch of anti-coronavirus supplies to local hospitals in Hubei within just five days, bringing some relief to frontline medical workers.
There have been many touching and heartwarming stories along the way. For example, one of our corporate customers, who provided test kits, helped to package all of them at their own expense lest the kits if left unpackaged would not be effective. Many other customers also provided supplies to us at significantly discounted prices. Some have provided us with information about other much-needed supplies.
In times of epidemic, love and hope spread even faster than virus. Unprecedented challenges and difficulties give everyone an opportunity to express goodwill and solidarity.