The Ministry of Health has sought the assistance of the United Kingdom government to retrieve a shipment of medical supplies that was bound for the BVI but seized by United States authorities.
Health Minister Carvin Malone said the BVI shipment was seized because of the US government’s recent order to ‘prevent the export of N-95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE)’.
He said the BVI’s shipment contained $12,000 worth of PPEs to help protect local health workers from contracting the coronavirus.
“I have since reported the incident to the governor who would — through diplomatic channels — be able to find ways in which we can get the goods released,” Malone said in a JTV broadcast.
He added: “We want to make sure that we have a clear path [for our] purchases of medical replacement supplies through the United States and we would be grateful it would be handled and handled effectively by the UK government and the US government. So I see no issue in terms of it being resolved.”
The items seized include N-95 masks, gloves, and gowns, Malone said.
According to US President, Donald Trump, his administration banned the export of coronavirus protective gear because the USA “needs these items immediately for domestic use”.
The US has surpassed China has the country with the single highest number of coronavirus cases. The US has in excess of half-a-million COVID-19 cases and more than 18,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
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