Hazmat suits fabric flown in from Europe

Yang Jian
China Eastern transports 58 tons of vital material from Amsterdam for the manufacture of protective suits amid a nationwide shortage during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 
Yang Jian
Ti Gong

A 58-ton cargo of fabric for hazmat suits is unloaded from a Boeing 777 aircraft at Pudong International Airport on Friday.

Special fabric for hazmat suits arrived at Pudong International Airport on Friday to help relieve the shortage of protective gear for medical staff battling the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak.

China Eastern Airlines' cargo flight CK206 transported 58 tons of the fabric from Europe for China National Pharmaceutical Group Co (Sinopharm). They were then delivered to Sinopharm production lines across the country.

A Boeing 777 cargo aircraft with its cargo of Dupont fabric took off from Amsterdam and landed in Pudong at 1pm on Friday, just 10 days after the material had been manufactured in Luxembourg, according to Eastern Airlines Logistics.

Since the outbreak, hazmat suits and facial masks have been in short supply. Some doctors and nurses in Wuhan, epicenter of the epidemic, had to wear diapers to avoid changing protective suits that can be used only once.

Domestic manufacturers are purchasing raw material overseas, but shipments have become increasingly difficult since many international flights have been suspended, the carrier said.

The logistics arm of Shanghai-based China Eastern took over the task for Sinopharm on February 4 and promised delivery within 10 days.

The fabric was initially transported to Amsterdam from Luxembourg by truck. After customs procedures, the fabric was loaded onto the aircraft ready for takeoff on Friday morning.

As of Thursday, the carrier had transported a total of 1888.6 tons of epidemic prevention materials.

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