Royal Caribbean Cruises will deliver a million protective surgical masks into China as the country battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Richard Fain, the chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Cruises, said the cruise company would work with suppliers to deliver the N-95 protective masks to China for the country’s government.

Face masks are reportedly selling out in cities across Asia as concerns over the virus grow.

Podcast: Coronavirus: how serious is it and what impact will it have long term?

More than 1,300 people are known to have died from the virus, including six health workers in China.

Local authorities in the country have reportedly struggled to provide protective equipment such as respiratory masks and goggles in hospitals, according to the BBC.

Fain said: “We admire the all-out efforts of the Chinese government and people to address this crisis and we want to bring our resources to bear to help their efforts.”

Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive Michael Bayley said the line would move a ship to China to carry out a series of complimentary sailings to thank medical personnel once the virus outbreak had ended.

Royal has also revealed that Spectrum of the Seas will offer complimentary cruises sailing from Sydney for Australia’s first responder community and Celebrity Millennium will provide ex-US sailings for firefighters in California following the wildfires.

More: Coronavirus: Cruise lines cancel and change itineraries amid mounting travel restrictions

Comment: Coronavirus – what is the true impact?

Millennium will offer a series of Cruising for Heroes sailings, ranging from three to five nights in March and April.

Details of the humanitarian itineraries in Australia and the US have yet to be finalised.

Fain added: “The women and men of Celebrity were keen to have this opportunity to give back, even though this repositioning presented a challenging timeline.

“We know the hard work and sacrifice of those who have been keeping Californians safe, and it feels good to be able to say ‘thank you’.”

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises’ president and chief executive, said: “While the circumstances have not been what any of us would have wanted, we now have the opportunity to show the State of California our stunning Celebrity Millennium and do some good in the process by honouring and helping our everyday heroes who do so much for so many.

“Celebrity Millennium is a beautifully appointed ship. It’s exciting to share it with this market and to honour the men and women who come to the aid of others every single day.”