Dreamliner Air New Zealand landed at Christchurch Airport on Saturday morning.
Inside is a cargo filled with personal protective equipment (PPE).
“This is a bfN98 surgical mask that will be distributed to CDHB [Canterbury District Health Board] on Monday, “Interbuild Products director Nick Ash said.
Ash has a business that imports building equipment from all over the world.
He saw a report of a lack of PPE and knew he had contacts to help.
To make this happen Ash called for brother-in-law and former Crusader Team Bateman, former All Blacks Ryan Crotty and Colin Slade and Michael Hobbs, son of the late New Zealand rugby boss Jock Hobbs.
“It’s kind of no use – it’s cool to be able to help and knowing it’s going to the right place too – it’s good to be a part of it,” Bateman said.
Another cargo of aircraft masks will be scheduled next week bringing the total to 5 million – the masks will be distributed throughout the Defense Forces, Transport and Maritime Agency of New Zealand.
“We reached out and they explained that there were some very large quantities needed immediately,” Ash said.
“We make the necessary overseas telephone calls to our suppliers and determined that we can get access to products very quickly.”
Meanwhile the New Zealand Medical Association is calling for regulation of testing point of care – that is, when samples are tested outside the laboratory.
Chairman Dr Kate Baddocks said there was an increase in overseas over-the-counter testing that offered to diagnose COVID. He worried they could be used here.
“We don’t know whether the kit is reliable, accurate, effective, safe,” he told Newsub.
“We do not know these things because they are not regulated. The second is that with laboratory testing we know the results are reliable.”
Tonight’s request to stamp out unreliable medical testing equipment – while others find ways to help the frontline.
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