A shipment of face masks, ordered by Germany to protect health workers battling the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, has mysteriously vanished in Kenya. It remains unclear whether the batch was stolen or simply misplaced.
The German military confirmed the loss of the shipment on Tuesday. The batch of six million FFP2 protective masks was due to arrive in Germany on March 20, but it went missing at an airport in Kenya.
“The authorities are trying to find out what happened,” a defense ministry spokesperson said, confirming earlier reports by German media. The Kenyan Airports Authority (KAA) told Reuters it was still “assessing the situation.”
It remains unclear how – and why – the shipment ended up in the east African country in the first place, as the masks are said to have been produced by a German company. It was also not immediately clear whether the six million masks were stolen or somehow got lost in transit.
On the bright side, the German government won’t suffer any financial losses even if the masks are never found, since payment for the shipment was due on delivery, the German military said.
Germany has over 27,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, including more than 100 deaths, following a spike in the numbers on Tuesday. Europe has become the main hotspot of the pandemic, recording more than 200,000 cases to date, with the majority originating in Italy – the country worst hit by the epidemic.
Italy remains under a nationwide lockdown imposed on March 12 in a bid to halt the spread of the disease.
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