Millions of masks destined for Germany disappear in Kenya

A laboratory specialist gets ready with protective gears before visiting the ward for quarantined people who had close contacts with the first Kenyan patient of the COVID-19.
A laboratory specialist gets ready with protective gears before visiting the ward for quarantined people who had close contacts with the first Kenyan patient of the COVID-19.
Image: Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A German army shipment of six million face masks needed to protect against the novel coronavirus has vanished in Kenya, the defence ministry in Berlin said on Tuesday.

“We are trying to find out what happened to the massive order of protective equipment meeting the FFP2 standard for protection against particles and aerosols,” a spokesperson said.

News weekly Der Spiegel had earlier reported that the masks had gone missing at a Kenyan airport at the end of last week.

It was not immediately clear why the shipment was transiting via the east African country.

The German army's procurement office is providing the health ministry with logistical support during the coronavirus crisis.

Due to arrive in Europe's largest economy on March 20, the missing mask shipment was one of the first major deliveries needed to gird Germany's health system for its battle against the coronavirus, Spiegel reported.

That makes the loss “more than irritating” for the German health and government workers on the front line of the crisis, Spiegel wrote citing official sources.

According to the Robert Koch Institute disease control authority, the country had 30,081 confirmed virus infections on Tuesday — an increase of almost 5,000 over the tally on Monday.

The defence ministry spokesperson said the German government would not suffer a financial loss as payment for the masks had been due on delivery. — AFP

 

 

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