Bobigny (AFP)

An Air France plane from China, conveying 5.5 million medical masks, landed at Roissy airport on Sunday, the day after the government announced a massive order for equipment against the covid -19, announced the airline.

"Our first Boeing 777 Cargo has just arrived at #ParisCDG with almost 100 tonnes of medical equipment on board, including more than 5 million masks," Air France tweeted.

The airline said earlier today that the plane was from Shanghai.

Among the 5.5 million masks of the cargo are "2.5 million of them ordered by LVMH for the state", told AFP a spokesman for the world luxury giant, stressing that this first batch was part of an order for "10 million masks in total, surgical and FFP2", for five million euros.

On Saturday, the government announced the establishment of an air bridge with China to safely transport cargoes of masks, which caregivers are sorely lacking to protect themselves from the epidemic of coronavirus.

France has ordered "more than a billion" masks, notably from China, detailed the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, specifying that the nursing staff needed 40 million masks per week.

Other flights are expected in the coming days to transport this essential protective equipment.

Paris-Vatry (Marne) airport, which has a cargo area dedicated to freight, awaits "a first flight tomorrow (Monday), then a series of flights spread over a fortnight initially," with at least a daily flight by wide-body aircraft, Antonov-124 aircraft, said the site's communications department.

They "will transport on average 100 tonnes of cargo each, with masks and medical equipment in varying quantities" from China, added this source, adding that each plane will contain at least ten million masks.

According to government figures, France produces 8 million masks every week, which makes it essential to import these medical materials.

eva-jra-pn-fan / rfo / alc

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