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Turkey medical equipments arrives in UK

Turkey's medical aid packages are being prepared for a military cargo plane, that will deliver them to UK to support the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) on 10 April 2020 [Hakan Nural/Anadolu Agency]
Turkey's medical aid packages for the UK to support them in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) on 10 April 2020 [Hakan Nural/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has sent a delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the UK, Downing Street said.

Britain's Care Minister , Helen Whately, said the equipment arrived yesterday morning after an unexplained four-day delay, the Guardian reported.

According to the statement, the delivery was originally expected to arrive on Sunday and had been due to include 400,000 surgical gowns.

The UK Government is facing mounting criticism over its failure to provide PPE to frontline health staff who are treating coronavirus patients.

On Monday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government was improving the sourcing of PPE both internationally and domestically.

READ: Israel refuses to export ventilators to the UK

The lack of equipment has sparked fears that staff in hospitals and care homes are risking their lives, prompting the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to call for an independent inquiry into the government's handling of the issue, Financial Times reported.

Turkish sources said they had done everything they could to expedite the shipment, but said Britain had not asked for export approval until 19 and 20 April. Like many other countries, Turkey has placed controls on the export of medical equipment in light of the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking to Sky News today, Turkey's Ambassador to the UK, Umit Yalcin, said the reason for the delay was problems with the private supplier.

Turkish Ambassador to the UK Umit Yalcin [Twitter]

Turkish Ambassador to the UK Umit Yalcin [Twitter]

"Turkey is co-operating with the UK authorities to find a quick solution for the UK's urgent needs," he said.

He also added, "Turkey helped the UK by donating 250,000 pieces of personal protective equipment last week and this time again Turkey is trying to help the UK authorities to resolve this commercial issue."

Turkey has distributed free PPE and hand sanitiser to its population.

Every citizen, except those aged 20 or under and 65 or older— for whom there is currently a curfew in Turkey — can apply for five free masks a week.

READ: Turkey distributes face masks free of charge 

The UK is currently struggling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with 138,078 confirmed cases and 18,738 deaths, with 616 people dying yesterday.

In Turkey, according to official figures, 750,944 COVID-19 tests have been conducted with the total number of cases reaching 98,674 and a death toll of 2,376.

READ: Erdogan conveys Turkey's support for Italy and Spain amid COVID-19 crisis

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