SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will send 400,000 face masks to the Philippines and East Timor this week to help the two Southeast Asian countries cope with the coronavirus pandemic, Seoul's foreign ministry said Wednesday.
A C-130 Air Force plane carrying the KF-94 masks will depart for Manila on Thursday before traveling to Dili to deliver the items, the ministry said in a release. Each country will receive 200,000 masks, respectively.
The decision to use a military plane for the transportation was made because no special commercial flights are currently allowed to East Timor, a foreign ministry official said.
The masks will mostly be delivered to medical personnel in the countries.
The mask provision came in line with Seoul's pledge last month to provide an additional US$21 million in humanitarian aid to help 65 countries fight COVID-19.
Under the program, the government had promised to send more face masks, coronavirus diagnostic kits and other relief items while seeking to further cooperate with international organizations in transporting the relief supplies.
South Korea has been exploring ways to contribute to the global battle against the novel virus, with its response system having earned international praise for its effectiveness in flattening the curve in the early stages of the outbreak.
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