As Mexico continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, help arrived in the nation’s capital from China Tuesday night in the form of 10 tonnes of medical equipment and supplies, the first of 20 planned shipments from that country destined for hospitals and healthcare workers.
The supplies came as confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico surged to 2,785 with 141 reported deaths.
The Aeroméxico 787-8 Dreamliner, dubbed Missionary of Peace, touched down in Mexico City around 9:00 p.m. loaded with 800,000 much-needed N95 masks and 1 million gloves which will be distributed to hospitals and clinics in each of Mexico’s 32 states. A portion of the medical supplies will also go to Pemex workers and the navy.
Government officials and crew aboard the flight were screened for coronavirus symptoms when the 13-hour flight landed.
More supplies are on their way, said the Health Ministry’s Hugo López-Gatell.
“This is not the only flight. An air bridge has been established between Mexico and China, which means that there will be a continuous coming and going of these aircraft to bring more equipment. Ventilators, monitors and other more specialized equipment will be coming soon,” he said.
Two to three flights a week from Shanghai to Mexico City are scheduled for the near future.
Between March 1 and April 4, China has exported US $1.4 billion worth of medical supplies to countries around the world, including 3.9 billion masks, 2.4 million infrared thermometers, 16,000 ventilators and 2.8 million coronavirus test kits.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard took to Twitter to offer his thanks to those involved in the airlift. “The Aeroméxico flight from Shanghai with medical equipment to deal with the Covid-19 has arrived,” he tweeted. “Thanks to Aeroméxico, the Chinese authorities and the Insabi team that dealt with the operation. We are moving forward.”