Aussie foundation ships 90 tonnes of critical medical supplies from China

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SYDNEY, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Minderoo Foundation has procured more than 90 tonnes of critical medical supplies from China in order to help fight the country's COVID-19 emergency.

The first flight of supplies touched down in the State of Western Australia (WA) on Wednesday evening onboard a specially chartered Airbus A330 from Shanghai.

An additional two flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday will deliver a total of one million N95 equivalent face masks, 400,000 surgical masks, 2.3 million medical-grade gloves, 100,000 nasal swabs, 200,000 medical coveralls, 10,000 medical goggles, 5,000 touch-less thermometers and over 30 ICU grade ventilators.

Minderoo Foundation was founded by Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) mining magnate, Andrew Forrest, with 160 million Australian dollars (97 million U.S. dollars) committed by the foundation in order to secure the goods.

"The trusted relationships, procurement expertise and logistics knowledge of the FMG and Minderoo Foundation teams, have been fundamental in rapidly securing this vital equipment," Forrest said.

"China's Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Ambassador Cheng (Jingye), and the Chinese people have been great mates to Australia. They are now doing all they can to help us in our hour of need."

Forrest thanked China for protecting Australia's "critical medical orders" in the face of pressure from other nations.

The goods were to be distributed among Australia's first responders and frontline medical personnel, with the WA government reimbursing Minderoo Foundation at cost for the supplies.

Minderoo Foundation also aimed to dramatically improve WA's capacity to undertake broad scale testing of the community, with a detailed plan in place to increase the number of RNA-based diagnostic COVID-19 tests from 400 per day up to 10,000.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook thanked Minderoo Foundation and Fortescue for their "extraordinary support." Enditem

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