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Airlift of medical equipment from China headed for Israel

Eleven airplanes containing millions of pieces of medical equipment, including ventilators, face masks and protective suits, will arrive in Israel from China in the coming days, with the first having just taken off, the Defense Ministry says.

The ministry says it coordinated the effort alongside the Foreign Ministry, El Al and Israel Chemicals.

The first plane, which is due to arrive tomorrow morning, contained 900,000 surgical masks, half a million protective suits and other medical gear. Additional protective equipment will be coming in the coming days, alongside several ventilators.

Two El Al planes will fly to Israel from China each day through the rest of the week, the ministry says.

Prof. Gabi Barabash, the former director general of the Health Ministry, says the current overall situation in Israel’s battle against the coronavirus “is much better” than it was.

“We’ve gone down from a doubling of new cases every six days to a doubling every 11 days,” he explains on Channel 12.

That’s despite what’s been happening in Bnei Brak and other hard-hit areas, he clarifies, and is “thanks to the closures… I hope people will maintain” the stay-home discipline, he says.

The concern is to avoid another rise because of Passover. If the numbers stay like this, “This gives the authorities a much better starting point,” he says, to consider easing some of the restrictions after Passover.

Header: In this photo sent out by the Defense Ministry on April 5, 2020, an El Al plane in China is loaded with medical equipment to bring to Israel. (El Al)