Cathay Pacific Cargo, forwarder Expeditors and logistics company Davis Trucking partnered with the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Administrative Services, offering their services free of charge for the shipment.
Cathay Pacific Senior Vice-President, Americas Chris van den Hooven said: “Cathay Pacific is proud to partner with the Port of Portland in the global fight against COVID-19. We have prioritised humanitarian relief efforts over the past year, delivering more than 100 tons of much-needed humanitarian and medical supplies to India.”
The shipment’s BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 test kits will be delivered to the Desai Foundation, an organisation that serves rural communities with health and livelihood programmes focussed on women and children in several states in India. The Foundation will distribute the testing kits, which produce results in 15 minutes, to COVID care and isolation centres, hospitals and local health workers.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown said: “It’s simply devastating what is happening in India as COVID-19 variants exact an enormous toll on human lives. In Oregon, we step up to help those in need by offering any help we can give.”
Port of Portland Chief Trade and Equitable Development Officer Keith Leavitt added: “We’re so grateful to the state, Cathay Pacific and the other local partners which stepped up to make this flight happen.”
The flight marks the second occasion during the pandemic that Cathay Pacific Cargo has adjusted its air cargo operations to ship essential COVID-19 supplies at no cost to Portland or to Oregon, following a flight last year when Cathay Pacific Cargo carried 1 million surgical masks into the state when they were urgently needed by frontline healthcare workers.
Cathay Pacific Director Cargo Tom Owen added: “I would like to thank our team in the Americas and our local partners for organising this shipment, which is adding to our other efforts in bringing much-needed aid to India.”