Coronavirus live updates Australia: death toll rises to 20 as Queensland launches ‘care army’ – latest news

Coronavirus live updates Australia: death toll rises to 20 as Queensland launches ‘care army’ – latest news

The first plane of critical medical supplies from the world’s largest producer, China, is to depart from Shanghai today (Australian Western Standard Time). Minderoo Foundation has arranged the charter of the Airbus A330, operated by China Eastern, that will touch down in Perth after a 10-hour flight.

Aiming to resolve Australia’s extreme shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment), two more flights are due to arrive on Friday and Saturday this week, together bringing more than 600 cubic meters weighing over 90 tonnes of medical supplies. This will include over 1m N95 equivalent face masks, 400,000 surgical masks, 2.3m medical-grade gloves, 100,000 nasal swabs, 200,000 medical coveralls, 10,000 medical goggles, 5,000 touch-less thermometers and over 33 ICU grade ventilators.

Minderoo Foundation Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO said FMG’s deep and enduring relationships with China are unparalleled in Australia. This allowed Minderoo Foundation to supercharge procurement efforts, on behalf of and in collaboration with the Western Australian and federal governments.

“Unprecedented times cannot be met with a precedented response,” Forrest said. “The trusted relationships, procurement expertise and logistics knowledge of the FMG and Minderoo Foundation teams, have been fundamental in rapidly securing this vital equipment.

“Our nation is facing a threat not seen in our lifetimes.

“China’s Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Ambassador Cheng, and the Chinese people have been great mates to Australia. They are now doing all they can to help us in our hour of need. I thank the People’s Republic of China for protecting our critical medical orders in the face of intense pressure from other nations. Without this, there would be no plane loads of equipment that we celebrate today for our first responders and suffering Australians.”

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