Ukraine gets masks, virus tests from China

Kiev (AFP) –


A Ukrainian military plane carrying masks, tests and ventilators to fight the spread of the coronavirus has arrived in Kiev from China, the presidency announced Monday.

Ukraine has confirmed 73 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths, according to official statistics.

The health ministry has previously warned of a shortage of ventilators in the ex-Soviet country's intensive care wards.

"We start the new week of our fight against coronavirus with good news," President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Monday.

The presidency earlier on Monday said the plane was loaded with 20 tonnes of medical equipment, including two types of tests, 80,000 masks and 10,000 sets of protective coverings for doctors.

It added that ventilators and 500,000 protective masks for soldiers, police and others in direct contact with the population were also delivered.

More flights from China, South Korea and other countries are scheduled this week, Zelensky said, adding the supplies were already being distributed throughout the country.

Pictures of the IL-76 military cargo aircraft at a Kiev airport were also posted on Zelensky's official website.

Ukraine has closed its borders and last week shut metro stations, bars, restaurants and malls to stem the spread of the coronavirus.