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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A plane carrying 40 tonnes of medical equipment was due to take off from Dubai on Wednesday to help Beirut's hospitals treat thousands of wounded patients.
Syringes, bandages and surgical gowns were among the packages worth more than Dh2 million.
At Dubai's International Humanitarian City, 180 pallets were loaded on board trucks for the cargo flight.
Nevien Attalla, operations manager for the World Health Organisation's Dubai hub, said the call to prepare aid packages came at 9pm on Tuesday, hours after a blast at Beirut's main port tore through the city, killing at least 100 people and injuring 4,000.
She said the supplies would help hospitals to treat about 2,000 patients.
“We are offering medical trauma kits and surgical kits containing things such as syringes, bandages and surgical gowns," she said.
“Overnight we doubled the quantity as more information about the situation came in."
The aid was from the WHO and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the flight was paid for by International Humanitarian City, where dozens of aid agencies are based.
"More may be sent depending on what is needed," she said.
George Maina, warehouse manager for IFRC, said half of the 40 tonnes was personal protective equipment including N95 masks, gloves and surgical caps and gowns, used to protect medical staff from the coronavirus.
“We loaded 94 pallets of PPE onto five trucks, that’s about 20 metric tonnes in total,” he said.
“We were able to move quickly and our teams worked through the night to prepare the freight, which will soon reach thousands of beneficiaries in Lebanon.
“International Humanitarian City donated the flight which will carry the items and they provided us with free transport to move the supplies to the airport.”
Updated: August 5, 2020 02:25 PM
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