Mar 22, 2020 03:32 PM

Czech Republic Promises ‘No Losses’ After Confiscating Donated Masks Meant for Chinese in Italy

What’s new: A Czech Republic official said the government is in discussions with China and Italy to find a solution after a batch of 101,600 donated masks from China intended for Chinese nationals in Italy were mistakenly confiscated by Czech customs officers.

Czech government will make sure that Italy will not suffer any losses from the incident, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek wrote in a tweet posted on Friday.

What happened previously: On March 17, customs officers at Lovosice in northwestern Czech Republic detained a batch of masks in a warehouse. But the officers later found the batch of masks included a donation from the Red Cross of Qingtian City in China's Zhejiang province intended for Chinese expatriates living in Italy.

Sources at the Red Cross familiar with the matter told Caixin that the batch of 101,600 donations were transported by rail to the Czech Republic and were then going to be transported onto Italy, direct flights between China and Italy had all been cancelled. The donated masks were being temporarily stored at the Czech warehouse when they were confiscated, but the Czech government misunderstood the donation thinking it was from local manufacturers.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (

Related: In Depth: How Italy’s Chinese Community Went From Helping Their Homeland to Seeking Its Help

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