A flight from China carrying more than €20m of protective equipment for healthcare workers is due to land in Ireland later.
The Aer Lingus Airbus A330 is scheduled to touch down at Dublin Airport shortly after 3pm on 29 March.
It is the first of a series of flights the Irish carrier will make to bring consignments of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Beijing.
Ten more trips are planned in the coming days.
The crew, which was not allowed to disembark in China, volunteered to take part in the PPE collection missions
The Irish Government is spending more than 200 million euro on PPE from China to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Ireland has increased its normal €15m euro annual outlay on PPE to €225m to cope with the demand due to Covid-19.
The Northern Ireland Executive is also securing PPE from China as part of a joint order with Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE).
The first flight has attracted much public attention, with officials from both China and Ireland providing regular Twitter updates on its progress.
Health minister Simon Harris said the consignment would include face masks, face shields, goggles and gowns.
“We are doing everything that is humanly possible to secure as much personal protective equipment as we can,” he said.
“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.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?