The Czech Republic has reportedly become the first NATO country to send help to Spain after a Hercules C 130 aircraft lifted the emergency medical equipment supply from the Eastern European country back to the country, a Spanish daily reported. The aircraft landed at Torrejon airbase in Madrid with over 90 respirators and 10,000 personal protective equipment which was received by the authorities.
According to an agency report, Spain, Europe’s second-worst impacted country after Italy, had earlier sought assistance from NATO for testing kits, ventilators and protective gears under NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). Spanish armed forces chief Miguel Villarroya told the press conference that Spain had made a request to NATO for medical equipment which is expected to be passed on to the member states armed forces, who might help. The aid would be transferred to civilians, Villarroya was quoted as saying. Italy had also requested assistance from NATO earlier, as per media reports. The organization, however, had deferred the request saying that due to the unavailability of products, the request was forwarded to each of its members.
Earlier, NATO assisted Romania which received a 45-tonne shipment of health aid with more than 100,000 medical equipment, while Italy received a donation from the US through NATO, a Spanish daily reported. Ukraine, despite not being a member, had received aid as a partner nation to the alliance. Reports state that there hasn’t been an official announcement from other nations so far to send emergency aid to Spain. NATO wrote on its official site, “A further delivery of medical equipment from the Czech Republic, including 10,000 protective medical suits is set to reach the Italian city of Milan by truck on 30 March 2020”. It further added, “donations reached Spain as a part of the allied efforts to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic”.