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  1. ITV Report

Flight carrying PPE from China arrives in Dublin

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A flight carrying protective equipment for health care workers fighting coronavirus has landed in Dublin.

The Aer Lingus Airbus A330 touched down at Dublin Airport on Sunday afternoon from Beijing in China.

It is the first of dozens of expected flights carrying millions of euro worth of PPE.

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According to the latest figures, 21 people who tested positive for Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland, and 46 have died in the Republic.

The flights are taking place after the Irish Government struck a deal with Chinese suppliers.

The Northern Ireland Executive is also securing PPE from China as part of a joint order with the Health Service Executive.

The first batch of the order, worth €28m, is being transported on 10 Aer Lingus flights, the last of which will fly on Wednesday.

It contains 11 million protective masks, 2.3 million eye protectors, 2.4 million gowns and nine million gloves.

The second batch is anticipated to be ready for collection later in the week, with planes expected to fly back and forth to Beijing on a regular basis until mid summer.

The first flight attracted much public attention, with officials from both China and Ireland providing regular Twitter updates on its progress.

Irish Health Minister Simon Harris said: "We are doing everything that is humanly possible to secure as much personal protective equipment as we can.

"I want to thank the crew, I want to thank the airline, I want to thank the HSE, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese authorities - everyone who has worked so hard to get this.

"There is a shortage of personal protective equipment right throughout the world."