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13.25 3 Apr 2020


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The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is meeting to discuss the next steps in tackling the outbreak of COVID-19.

Among the issues to be discussed is sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE).

At first there were concerns about the shortage of PPE - including masks, gowns and goggles.

Now concerns are being raised about the type of equipment available since it arrived.

Several deliveries have arrived from China this week - however there are reports frontline staff are concerned that the masks are poor quality and the gowns are too small.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says the equipment that has arrived from China is not standard for the Irish health service.

He says it is currently being examined by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

"It is the case that the protective equipment that has now been brought into Ireland, for some of our healthcare workers, will be different to the protective equipment that they have become used it.

"It is being tested, it is being assessed by the HSE, good use will be found for it - but we will continue our efforts to look for additional equipment".

The HSE has placed an order of over €200m, however there are fears it may not materialize to the extent expected.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid says they are working hard to deliver.

Ireland has a framework agreement for the purchase of large quantities of supplies from China, the first batches of which arrived on Sunday.

It was the first of a number of flights delivering PPE to the country.


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China Equipment Ireland NPHET PPE Paschal Donohoe Paul Reid Personal Protective Equipment

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