The New Zealand Defence Force has taken a second supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to another country, this time to Timor-Leste.

Crew on a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130 Hercules yesterday delivered approximately 5500kgs of PPE to Timor-Leste’s capital, Dili, following a surge in COVID-19 cases in that country.

The flight to Timor-Leste follows a similar delivery to Papua New Guinea over the weekend, when approximately 4400kg of PPE was taken to Port Moresby.

New Zealand has supplies of PPE in Auckland, ready to deploy to countries in need as required. The deliveries followed requests from the governments of Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste for assistance.

In both cases the supplies were delivered to airports, without physical contact with local workers. A second flight to PNG with further PPE supplies is possible, depending on its needs.

The supplies will enable clinical teams to care for patients with the disease. The PPE includes hand sanitiser, goggles, biohazard bags, thermometers, gloves, gowns and surgical face masks.

“We’re pleased we can help our friends and communities in the region by taking these supplies of PPE to help them in their fight against the virus,” RNZAF Air Component Commander Air Commodore Shaun Sexton said.

Aircrew on RNZAF flights have robust procedures in place to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19 including health screening prior to departure, COVID-19 swab testing, hand washing/hand sanitising, wearing face masks and gloves, and physical distancing.

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