The New Zealand Defence Force has taken a second supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to another country, this time to Timor-Leste. The flight to Timor-Leste follows a similar delivery to Papua New Guinea, when approximately 4400kg of PPE was taken to Port Moresby. Crew on a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130 Hercules yesterday delivered approximately 5500kgs of PPE to Timor-Leste’s capital, Dili, following a surge in COVID-19 cases in that country.
“We’re pleased we can help our friends and communities in the region by taking these supplies of PPE to help them in their fight against the virus,” New Zealand Defence Force Air Component Commander Air Commodore Shaun Sexton said.
New Zealand has supplies of PPE in Auckland, ready to deploy to countries in need as required. The deliveries followed requests from the governments of Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste for assistance. In both cases the supplies were delivered to airports, without physical contact with local workers. A second flight to PNG with further PPE supplies is possible, depending on its needs.
The supplies will enable clinical teams to care for patients with the disease. The PPE includes hand sanitiser, goggles, biohazard bags, thermometers, gloves, gowns and surgical face masks. Aircrew on RNZAF flights have robust procedures in place to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19 including health screening prior to departure, COVID-19 swab testing, hand washing/hand sanitising, wearing face masks and gloves, and physical distancing.