An A400M transport aircraft of the Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) arrived in Cape Town on Thursday 30 April, bringing much needed medical supplies donated by the Republic of Turkey for the war against the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.
With the number of people testing positive for the COVID-19 virus increasing steadily every day, South Africa is racing to source vitally needed masks and other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for health workers at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Turkey’s Ambassador to South Africa Elif Ulgen said the donation is part of a cooperation agreement between the two countries.
Included in the Turkish donation were:
- 100 000 Surgical masks
- 100 N95 masks
- 500 Protective overalls
- 500 Face shields
- 500 Medial safety goggles
- 200 litres of hand sanitiser
- One disinfectant tunnel
A Turkish Embassy staff member told defenceWeb that the medical supplies were “from the Turkish government to the South African government” and that South Africa can use these donations according to the needs of South Africa.
Having landed at Cape Town International Airport, the A400M quickly commenced with the offloading of its cargo as, due to South Africa’s quarantine regulations, the aircraft could only stay on the ground for a few hours before returning to Turkey.
The Turkish Air Force cargo aircraft was followed into Cape Town by a second A400M, this time empty as both aircraft made the return trip with cargo destined for Turkey.
For the long trip to South Africa, two crews were aboard each aircraft.
This is not the first time Turkish Air Force A400M aircraft have been to South Africa. The first was in July 2018, in support of the visit of the President of Turkish Republic on the occasion of the BRICS Summit.