The European Commission has helped send an additional 17 tonnes of protective equipment to China, thanks to a French aircraft mobilized through the EU civil protection mechanism. On its return, the plane will also bring back European citizens present in Wuhan. In addition, on a Wednesday, two Italian planes took off for Japan to repatriate European citizens on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Yokohama. The EU co-finances up to 75% of the costs of these flights.
"We have helped deliver more than 30 tonnes of equipment to China and we will continue this weekend. I thank the French and Italian authorities for helping to bring EU citizens home safely and for delivering emergency equipment to China. It is an excellent example of European cooperation.
The Commission continues to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, both to help our Member States and to help China, "said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management. Protective equipment, supplied by France, Estonia and Latvia, includes masks, gloves, protective clothing and a disinfectant. The European Commission is in constant contact with the Member States, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organization on all aspects of the COVID-19 epidemic.