The Bhutan Foundation handed over 200,000 non-medical face masks to the health ministry yesterday for distribution to vulnerable communities, including the elderly population and pregnant women.

The donation is part of the ongoing “Bhutan Emergency Covid-19 Response and

Health System Preparedness” activity supported by the US Agency for

International Development (USAID), a US government agency.

The three-layered non-medical face masks were produced by Tarayana Foundation in partnership with the Bhutan Network for Empowering Women and SAARC Business Association of Home-based workers.

“They are environment friendly and meet international safety standards,” a press release from the foundation stated.

They were made by home-based women workers, thereby generating a sustainable source of income for women during the pandemic.

In coordination with the government, USAID and Bhutan Foundation are working to strengthen Bhutan’s healthcare system in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the coming weeks, USAID and Bhutan Foundation will also support the distribution of medical supplies that will assist in stopping the spread of hospital-acquired infections as well as other essential medical equipment to assist with Bhutan’s Covid-19 response,” the release stated.