Germany misplaces 6 million facemasks in Kenya

A German army shipment of six million face masks needed to protect against the novel coronavirus has vanished in Kenya, the defense ministry in Berlin confirms.

“We are trying to find out what happened” to the massive order of protective equipment meeting the FFP2 standard for protection against particles and aerosols, a spokeswoman says.

News weekly Der Spiegel had earlier reported that the masks went missing at a Kenyan airport at the end of last week.

Illustrative: A man wearing a face mask, worm by many as a protective measure against the new coronavirus COVID-19, wheels a shopping cart through a supermarket in Berlin on March 17, 2020. (Kay Nietfeld / dpa / AFP)

It was not immediately clear why the shipment was transiting via the East African country, the spokeswoman said.

The German army’s procurement office — plagued in normal times by equipment shortages and breakdowns — is providing the health ministry with logistical support during the coronavirus crisis.

Due to arrive in Europe’s largest economy on March 20, the missing mask shipment was one of the first major deliveries needed to gird Germany’s health system for its battle against the coronavirus, Der Spiegel reported.


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