Massive shipment of Turkish coronavirus supplies to the UK delayed

Massive shipment of Turkish coronavirus supplies to the UK delayed
Turkey is to send 84 tonnes of much-needed personal protective equipment to the UK, including 400,000 surgical gowns.
2 min read
19 April, 2020
Turkey was due to send more coronavirus equipment to the UK today [Anadolu / Getty]
A huge shipment of desperately needed personal protective equipment (PPE) due to arrive in the UK from Turkey has been delayed due to logistical reasons.

Robert Jenrick, the UK's secretary of state for housing, communities, and local government said on Saturday that the shipment would consist of 84 tonnes of supplies, including 400,000 surgical gowns for National Health Service (NHS) staff and would arrive on Sunday.

However, Sky News reported on Sunday morning that the shipment was being delayed for "logistical reasons".

The UK is currently reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with 114,217 confirmed cases and 15,464 deaths. 888 people died on Saturday alone.

Read also: Comment: UK coronavirus response forces most vulnerable to shoulder the burden

There has been a severe shortage of PPE, which has had a devastating effect on NHS staff in particular, with dozens of medical staff dying after contracting coronavirus.

Some UK hospitals are in danger of running out of gowns and other protective equipment by the end of the week.

The UK government has come under fire domestically for its inability so far to secure supplies of PPE. The Sun newspaper reported that despite the size of the Turkish shipment, it would only last for three days.

The Turkish army sent another planeload of coronavirus aid to the UK on April 11. Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said earlier this month that the country was producing one million masks a week.

Infection rates in Turkey have risen sharply recently and it now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the Middle East. A total of 82,329 cases have been reported, but the death rate is far below that of the UK, with 1,890 people dying of the deadly disease.

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