Two planeloads of protective gear arrive from China

The authorities are distributing two planeloads of desperately needed protective gear which arrived from China on Saturday.

A heavy cargo plane loaned from Ukraine brought 100 tons of masks, respirators and coronavirus tests from China, while a China Eastern plane brought seven million facemasks.

More planes with protective gear and tests are expected to arrive next week.

The deliveries have cost the Interior Ministry 1.5 billion crowns so far. The projection is that with every new week that the epidemic lasts the country will spend another billion crowns on medical equipment.

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch has come under fire for the lack of face-masks and respirators and their poor distribution to the regions, with some governors calling for his dismissal.

Although Prime Minister Andrej Babiš ruled out a change of guard, he said the government would change the system of distributing protective gear on Monday, with the Health Ministry supplying only state hospitals while the Interior Ministry would take care of the rest.