MIRI: Timber giant Samling has donated the first batch of medical supplies to several hospitals in the state.

According to Samling Group CEO Lawrence Chia, the supplies would be distributed to hospitals in Miri, Bintulu, Sarikei, Lawas and nearby medical facilities, including government clinics.

“These items include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, which is needed to trace the coronavirus or Covid-19 genetic material, and some hazardous material suits for medical workers,” he said.

The first batch of the items was handed over to Miri Hospital and received by its director Dr Jack Wong during a simple presentation ceremony at Wisma Samling yesterday.

It was witnessed by Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting, Miri District Officer Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and Samling executive director Troy Yaw.

Chia added that eight to 10 tonnes of medical supplies, including a large quantity of surgical masks, body suits and thermometers destined for Sarawak, would be brought in by cargo plane.

“Samling is always looking for ways to relieve shortages of much-needed medical supplies in our hospitals.

“Our brave healthcare workers and first responders are on the front lines keeping us safe.

“Our nation depends on these heroes (healthcare workers) every day and the days ahead, we will depend on them even more, here in Miri, we want them to know that they can depend on us too,” he said.

He observed that supplies had been difficult to come by in some of the areas, especially in the interior.

He said that Samling would continue to support Miri Hospital and the government both in the short and long term.

“Samling feels it’s imperative to do our part and dedicate whatever resources we have to assist our government in overcoming shortages in healthcare,” he explained.

He assured that the medical products or supplies purchased from China were working properly.

Recently, some European countries returned a huge amount of medical equipment from China on grounds of quality defects.