Wei Liu collected more than 500 masks from Baton Rouge's Chinese community to donate to Baton Rouge General after the hospital asked for supplies last week. 

When the novel coronavirus first emerged in China months ago, Wei Liu's relatives warned him it was no hoax, urging him to stay home, diligently wash his hands and stock up on protective gear. 

So when Baton Rouge General asked the community to donate masks and gloves last week to help fight the pandemic, Liu didn't hesitate. In just two days, he collected more than 500 masks and several boxes of gloves in donations from Baton Rouge's small but tight-knit Chinese community — and more is on the way. 

"We've heard from our relatives that this is very dangerous," said Liu. "That's why we knew we had to do something to help."

Since Friday, Baton Rouge General has received more than 150 donations from individuals and companies, including from Turner Industries, Lowe's of Gonzales, Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel, Balhoff Orthodontics and the Cajun Navy, said Meghan Parrish, the hospital's spokesperson.

The hospital still needs supplies — especially disinfectant wipes. They will also take masks of any kind, safety googles or nitrile gloves. 

"We can just stay at home, but the doctors and nurses need protection," said Yao Zeng, who worked alongside Liu to collect the donations. 

The donations will be distributed to hospitals in the region, Parrish said. 

To donate, call Baton Rouge General at 225-381-6005.

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