Pakistani family in Hong Kong fights virus by distributing face masks, gloves for free
Monitoring Report
HONG KONG: As global coronavirus cases continue to rise, one Pakistani family living in Hong Kong has opted to help the local community by distributing thousands of face masks, gloves and other sanitary products for free, Al Jazeera reported.
According to the report, Lala Al Sheikh had established his business in Hong Kong several years ago, selling ornaments from Nepal, Pakistan, India, and China.
"My father-in-law is the one who started this business," says Amna Nadeem, Al Sheikh's daughter-in-law. It had started out small but now it’s gotten to a point where we are able to provide free masks and water for everyone in the community, she says.
Every week, Al Sheikh buys face masks and other supplies from different medical stores around the community in bulk in order to distribute them to those in need.
According to him, he does this purely for his own happiness and satisfaction. "When a man dies, it is only his good deeds that are left behind," he says.
Al Sheikh uses the money left behind after subtracting his expenses to buy the products. "I have no other financial help, it's just me and my family. We package and distribute the products as a family," he says.
However, dwindling supplies have thrown a spanner in Al Sheikh's plans, as items such as hand sanitisers and face masks fly off the shelves due to panic buying over the coronavirus.
"I have [distributed items] between six to seven times. The first five times I handed out anti-bacterial soap. But, when there was a shortage of soap — they come from Indonesia — I had to stop," he says.
"If you don't wear a mask, the people will not talk to you," adds Sheraz Jehangir, a salesman at Lala Al Sheikh Trading Company. "You must wear a mask."