Belfast has received a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) from its sister city Shenyang in China.
The shipment - which includes 10,000 disposable medical face masks and 500 sets of disposable protective clothing - arrived in Duncrue industrial estate yesterday, ready for distribution among health workers fighting on the frontline during the Covid-19 crisis.
The shipment of PPE was in response to kit donated to Shenyang at the very beginning of the pandemic by the Chinese Welfare Association, based at Stranmillis Embankment, Belfast.
The association also recently donated £17,000 to the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
Belfast Lord Mayor Daniel Baker said: "I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to our good friend and colleague, Chinese Consul Madame Zhang, to Jiang Youwei, Mayor of Shenyang, and to all those in our sister city Shenyang, for their ongoing solidarity and support during this challenging time.
"It's absolutely vital that our city's key workers are protected against this virus as they carry out their essential duties, and today's much needed supply of PPE will do a great deal to help ensure their safety.
"One uplifting outcome of this incredibly challenging time is the ongoing readiness of people to reach out and help one another. It's hugely encouraging to know that this friendship, kindness and co-operation stretches right across the globe - as demonstrated by today's donation.
"We look forward to further developing our sister city connections with Shenyang post-Covid-19 to develop new areas of co-operation in trade, tourism and education to help rebuild our economies."
Sourcing reliable supplies of PPE has been a constant battle during the outbreak.
The NHS is getting through tens of millions of masks a week, UK procurement officials have said.
Focus has been put on an RAF plane carrying a consignment of PPE, which landed at Brize Norton early yesterday morning.
Reports suggest the plane is carrying 400,000 surgical gowns.
But experts have suggested these gowns could be used within days as they warned that the shortage of such wear in the country is "critically low".