China is sending protective material to Switzerland with a first batch of “urgently needed” gowns delivered to Zurich hospitals on Monday, Keystone-SDA news agency reported, citing cantonal authorities. Another flight arrived in Geneva and more are expected in the coming days.
The personal protective gear arrived at Zurich Airport on Sunday evening from Shanghai. The supplies will be distributed to 34 healthcare institutions in the cantons of Zurich and Schwyz.
Another flight landed on Monday in Geneva carrying 92 tonnes of protective medical equipment including masks made in China, Reuters reported. That flight contained 2.5 million surgical masks, 10 million gloves as well as goggles and thermometers. The equipment will be distributed to 13 Swiss hospitals and pharmaceutical associations.
Additional protective materials such as masks, gloves and safety glasses are expected to arrive in the coming days, according to SWISS International Airlines.
With coronavirus continuing to spread in Switzerland, doctors have warned of a pending lack of protective gear for medical staff, especially masks.
Switzerland recently introduced temporary restrictions on the export of protective equipment to head off shortages among medical staff and others fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
Last month, Brussels instructed the European Union member states to stop blocking exports of protective equipment to Switzerland and the other countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).