St. John’s, Antigua – Tuesday, April 21, 2020: The Calvin Ayre Foundation (CAF), announced today, that over EC$4 million worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), is en route to Antigua and Barbuda from The People’s Republic of China, to assist the government in its fight against Covid-19.

According to Chairman of the Ayre Group, Ambassador Calvin Ayre: “As Antigua and Barbuda and many other small island developing states struggle to protect their citizenry from this highly contagious and deadly coronavirus, it is becoming painfully obvious that we cannot look to the traditional donors and trading partners for assistance in providing urgently needed PPEs.”

For example, effective Friday, April 10, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), issued a temporary rule stating that it would be allocating “certain scarce or threatened materials for domestic use, so that these materials may not be exported from the United States without explicit approval by FEMA.” The rule covers five types of protective equipment including N95 masks, surgical masks and gloves. This decision leaves vulnerable countries like Antigua and Barbuda with no choice but to seek to acquire supplies from other source markets.

“Thankfully,” Ayre said, “we were able to procure the desperately needed protective equipment from China for our front-line workers in Antigua and Barbuda.”

The shipment will include disposable gloves; N95 masks; full-length shields; surgical gowns and forehead temperature thermometers.

The official handing over to Ministry of Health officials will take place later this week.

“We are truly happy to be in a position to assist the government and citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, and especially the brave people on the front line,” Ayre added. “These are the people who risk their lives to protect others and we feel it is our duty to ensure that they are adequately protected.”