The British government has been called out for announcing a shipment of personal protective equipment from Turkey before it had even made the request.
Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, told the daily Downing Street press briefing on Saturday that 84 tonnes of the gear, including 400,000 urgently needed clinical gowns, would be arriving on British shores the following day.
But Turkish sources have told Sky News that no formal request had even been made until Sunday, with the shipment still nowhere to be seen.
Sitting on the tarmac
According to the latest reports the RAF plane dispatched yesterday evening to bring in the much-needed supplies to the UK is still sitting on the tarmac in Turkey.
It is still not clear if the plane – one of three expected to pick the items up – will return to Brize Norton today.
This morning minister Simon Clarke even suggested it may not arrive until “the next few days”.
“Every possible option”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak tried to use the daily Downing Street coronavirus press conference yesterdat to dampen the anger of health care bosses as he insisted the government is pursuing “every possible option” around the world in order to secure more PPE.
He said the UK and other countries are facing an ‘international challenge’ to source the equipment and that ministers are “working hard to get the PPE our frontline NHS and social care staff need”.
He said Britain is still “working to resolve the Turkish shipment of PPE as soon as possible” but was unable to say when it will arrive.
He did reveal a shipment of 140,000 gowns from Myanmar was unloaded in the UK today.