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Aer Lingus crew volunteer to fly to China to collect £180m coronavirus PPE…

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Aer Lingus crew volunteer to fly to China to collect £180m coronavirus PPE...

The Irish government is spending over 180 million pounds (200 million euros) on PPE from China to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. The Aer Lingus Airbus A330 is scheduled to land at Dublin Airport just after 3 pm on Sunday. It is the first in a series of flights that the Irish carrier will take to bring shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Beijing.

Ten more trips are planned in the coming days.

The crew, who was not allowed to land in China, offered to participate in the PPE collection missions

Ireland has increased its normal annual disbursement from 15 million euros in PPE to 225 million to deal with demand due to Covid-19.

The Northern Ireland Executive is also protecting China's PPE as part of a joint order with the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE).

The first flight attracted a lot of public attention, with officials from China and Ireland providing regular Twitter updates on their progress.

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Health Minister Simon Harris said the shipment would include masks, shields, glasses and dresses.

"We are doing everything that is humanly possible to ensure as much personal protective equipment as possible," he said.

"I want to thank the crew, the airline, the HSE, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese authorities – to everyone who has worked so hard to achieve this."

"There is a shortage of personal protective equipment worldwide."

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