Mail Force donated a large amount of PPE from China to England, to come over the epidemic

A new weapon in the war on coronavirus touched down at a deserted Heathrow on Apr 28th: an airliner crammed with PPE. Inside, filling every seat and the cargo hold, were more than 20 tons of vital coveralls and masks, which is worth over £1 million and fresh from China and destined straight for the Covid-19 frontline on Apr 29th.

It is all thanks to a new charity, Mail Force, established by the Daily Mail and its partners to help the NHS tackle a dire shortage of key equipment. More personal protective equipment will follow in the days and weeks ahead.

On the day Britain paused for a minute’s silence as the Covid-related death toll of NHS staff reached triple figures, the vital reinforcements could hardly be more welcome. Also, PPE shortages dominated the Cabinet meeting on 28th, the first to be chaired by the Prime Minister since returning from his sickbed.

‘The Government is bringing in personal protective equipment from international suppliers and now British manufacturers but this is a global pandemic and there are global shortages, so supplies have been a continuing concern.

A combined domestic and international effort of Government, industry, NHS supply chain, and the Armed Forces are working around the clock to get PPE delivered as quickly as possible to those on the frontline during this global pandemic.

Shortly before the plane landed at Heathrow, Mr. Hancock told that the Government had been ‘moving heaven and earth to get the amount of PPE that we need to the frontline’. It followed his apology to the family of a 53-year-old doctor who died of the virus after warning the Government about a lack of the equipment.

Later, the son of the doctor challenged the Health Secretary on LBC. Mr Hancock assured him: ‘We took very, very seriously what your father said and we’ve been working around the clock to ensure that there’s enough protective equipment.’

Meanwhile, from the Department of Health to far-flung reaches of the Foreign Office –every team of public servants is working around the clock to find more of the same equipment from an ever-shrinking global supply.

At the very forefront of the Covid frontline, it is this constant shortfall which is currently the greatest challenge in our battle against coronavirus. Across the NHS, the consumption of personal protective equipment – ‘PPE’ – is staggering yet seemingly unavoidable.

The Government has come up with the bewildering sum of a ‘billion’ items of PPE despatched since this crisis began, although they have only reached that sum by totting up each individual glove.

Nonetheless, the demand is astonishing. Since the start of this crisis, the NHS has consumed 140 million masks and 1.8million of the all-important fluid-resistant isolation gowns needed for working at close quarters with Covid 19 patients. And that stock is all but running out.

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