Last month Turkey’s trade minister said the country was restricting the export of respirator-related medical equipment in order to meet domestic needs.
- Getty Images Last month Turkey’s trade minister said the country was restricting the export of respirator-related medical equipment in order to meet domestic needs. - Getty Images

Spain accuses Turkey of seizing respirators shipment, says 'bordering on criminality'

Sat, Apr. 4, 2020
CAIRO – 4 April 2020: Spain has said that Turkey had seized a delivery of medical supplies urgently needed to help tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

Spain had yet to receive the respirators it had bought from China after Turkey “decided to keep them in case they may need them in their battle against COVID-19,” Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said during a press conference.

The newly appointed minister of Spain also said the equipment remained in Turkish custody over Ankara’s restrictions on the export of medical devices.

Last month Turkey’s trade minister said the country was restricting the export of respirator-related medical equipment in order to meet domestic needs.

This shipment is valuable because it contains 162 respirators for ICU patients, according to Spanish media.

Three Spanish regions, Castilla-La Mancha, Navarre and Catalonia, had bought the ventilators, El Pais reported, while the shipment also featured sanitary materials paid for by the country’s health ministry.

Emiliano Garcia-Page, Castilla-La Mancha’s president, said Turkey has “unilaterally decided to requisition” 150 ventilators it had already paid €3 million (£2.6m) for.

He added he expected the national government to issue a diplomatic complaint about the issue, which he said was “bordering on criminality”.

Spain exceeded Italy in the number of injuries, as the authorities announced, on Friday, that it recorded more than 900 deaths by the epidemic for the second day in a row, bringing the total deaths to more than 10,935 after recording 935 deaths within 24 hours.
 
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