COVID19: Cyprus to charter China flight for medical supplies

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Cyprus will charter a flight to China to bring much needed medical supplies in the fight to stop coronavirus from spreading, said Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos.

Karousos said the government is preparing to send a charter flight to China in the coming days to bring back medical equipment and consumables which the government services require in handling the coronavirus outbreak.

He told CNA the decision was taken on Thursday and each ministry and the House of Representatives is preparing a list of essential items needed.

Karousos said sending a plane was the quickest way to bring supplies from China.

The primary concern, he added, is to serve the needs of the Ministry of Health in medical equipment and other supplies necessary for hospitals to handle the coronavirus.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has assured that Cyprus still has stocks but that these are being depleted.

Nicosia raised the issue of supplies weeks ago with Brussels during the spread of Covid-19 and the EU is activating a plan to secure items like protective clothing, masks and test kits.

However, doctors and nurses have raised the alarm over a shortage of medical equipment and supplies if the outbreak worsens.