The first batch of 11,267 sheep from Mongolia arrived recently in Wuhan, Hubei province, which was hit hard by COVID-19 earlier this year, and will be given to medical workers who fought the virus, the Hubei provincial department of commerce announced on Friday.
The department on Friday afternoon held a handover ceremony for the sheep, which were slaughtered, processed, packaged and labeled "Mongolia-donated sheep". Qin Jun, the department director, said Hubei people have happily received the warm gifts and expressed appreciation for the Mongolian government and people.
The donation came after Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga visited China in February, a critical stage of China's COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control, and promised to offer 30,000 sheep as a token of support.
The sheep is the symbol of wealth and status in Mongolia, a nation dominated by the animal husbandry industry, and donating sheep represents the best wishes of the Mongolian people. China has also actively provided medical supplies to Mongolia and shared prevention and treatment experiences.
Now with the arrival of the first batch of sheep, Qin said, the Hubei provincial Party committee and provincial government have decided to distribute the lamb to frontline workers and their families as a token of thanks for their contributions in the fight against COVID-19.
The recipients will be frontline medical workers who had fought in the designated hospitals across the province to treat COVID-19 patients, medical teams from all over the country who came to assist Hubei, and families of personnel who died on duty in the prevention and control work.
All sheep will be shipped alive in batches after undergoing strict inspection and quarantine in Mongolia. They will first be transported to the border city of Ereenhot in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, where they will be slaughtered and processed, before being sent to Hubei province.
The first batch arrived in Ereenhot on Oct 22 and were sent to Wuhan on Nov 12.