The first of 300 flights bringing in protective equipment to Ireland takes off today

The first of 300 flights bringing in protective equipment to Ireland takes off today

The first flight to collect more Personal Protective Equipment for frontline staff is due to take off this morning.

The Aer Lingus cargo plane will have a 50-hour round trip to China to bring the consignment back, and is due to arrive tomorrow evening.

The HSE is spending more than €230m to buy the much-needed supplies for healthcare staff in the battle against the coronavirus.

Chief operations officer with the HSE, Anne O'Connor, said it is to ensure enough PPE for all services in the weeks and months ahead.

Ms O'Connor said: "We have already, since the first of February, brought in €30m worth of PPE, there is another €30m starting to arrive on Sunday.

"The best part of that will see 10 flights between Sunday and Wednesday coming into Ireland so the shipment overall will see 300 flights coming in.

"So it is a very, very significant supply chain that we have secured and we would see that we would have PPE over the coming weeks and months throughout all services."

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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