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Coronavirus: PPE from Turkey fails UK safety standards

Personnels make production of protective face masks against the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation's Mamak facility in Ankara, Turkey on April 2, 2020 [Raşit Aydoğan - Anadolu Agency]
Personnels make production of protective face masks against the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ankara, Turkey on 2 April 2020 [Raşit Aydoğan/Anadolu Agency]

Some 400,000 surgical gowns ordered from Turkey do not meet British safety standards, the UK government has said.

The 84 tonne shipment including 400,000 medical gowns, has been locked and waiting in a government warehouse near Heathrow Airport in west London, the Daily Telegraph reported yesterday.

Ministers secured a substantial supply of gowns from Turkey, which, after an initial delay, arrived on 22 April.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said gowns that arrived from Turkey turned out to “not be of the quality that we feel is good enough for our frontline staff”.

READ: Turkey stands with Britain to beat Covid-19

“When we’re securing PPE from around the world you do it based on a set of standards that you’re looking to acquire to, but obviously once it’s here we check that it is good enough for what we want to use and in this instance some of this PPE turned out not to be good enough,” Sky News reported him saying.

The Department of Health said it was working “night and day to source PPE”.

“There is now the likelihood of a messy wrangle over who is to blame and whether Britain should get its money back.” Sky News’ Diplomatic Editor Dominic Waghorn said.

During the past few months, as the UK has battled against the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare workers including doctors and nurses have complained of a lack of adequate kits such as gowns, masks and gloves.

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Turkey is a leading international donor of the medical equipment needed in the fight against COVID-19, with 128 countries having requested medical aid from Ankara since the global pandemic began.

READ: Turkey pharmacies distribute 40 million masks to citizens for free

CoronavirusEurope & RussiaNewsTurkeyUK
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