As Gove defends Boris...

China sends PPE cargo to help Scots health workers

Cargo arrives from China

A supply of ten million face masks and other essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers has arrived in Scotland from China.

The cargo which also included infusion pumps for Intensive Care Units and virus collecting kits for use in health laboratories, landed at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Saturday.

It will also relieve pressure on ministers north of the border amid concern from NHS staff and care home operators about the availability of protective equipment.

However, concern continues south of the border after it emerged that a supply of PPE due from Turkey has been delayed as alarm grew over calls for health workers to re-use aprons and clothing.

Responding to an article in the Sunday Times criticising the UK government’s handling of the crisis, Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove today accepted that Britain had sent supplies of PPE to China to help out during the Wuhan outbreak, but Britain had since received help from China in return.

Mr Gove dismissed criticism that Boris Johnson ‘missed’ five Cobra meetings on the virus, arguing that there was no requirement for the Prime Minister to attend every meeting of the emergency committee.

He said it was “grotesque” to portray Prime Minister Boris Johnson “as though not caring about this”.

Commenting on today’s delivery of PPE, Scottish Minister for Trade, Ivan McKee said: “Protecting staff working on the frontline is an absolute priority which is why we have been working at pace with the NHS and manufacturers both in Scotland and internationally to improve and increase the supply of PPE.

“This charter flight, carrying additional equipment ordered by the Scottish Government, is significant and we will be focusing the distribution of these supplies to health and social care settings over the coming days.

The Scottish Government will continue to do all it can to make health and social care staff feel as safe as possible

– Ivan McKee, Trade Minister

“In these incredibly challenging times the Scottish Government will continue to do all it can to make health and social care staff feel as safe as possible in their workplace.”

Jim Miller, Director of Procurement, Commissioning and Facilities at NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), said: “This delivery is the result of a painstaking collective effort involving multiple partners working together to provide our NHS and social care colleagues with the PPE they need to keep them safe.

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