Turkey has intercepted air cargo containing breathing machines ordered by Spain from China. Air cargo en route to Spain made a stopover in Ankara last Saturday and the Turkish authorities have not allowed the flight to continue their journey.

Air cargo was to bring 150 breathing machines to Spain for use by hospitals in the most critical situation due to the coronavirus. However, the flight has been stuck in Ankara for six days. It is very possible that air cargo will never arrive at its destination in Spain.

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya said at a news conference on Friday that Turkey is likely to have taken the ventilators in question for its own use.

“In recent days, Turkey has imposed restrictions on air cargo containing medical supplies, motivated by the provision of the country’s own medical supplies,” González Laya said.

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya.

Photo: Xinhua / Zuma / MVPhotos

Spain has paid China three million euros for 150 ventilators. According to El Mundo, air cargo stuck in Turkey was to transport hospital equipment, at least to the province of Castilla La Mancha, which has been the third most affected by the coronavirus in Spain. There is a critical need for ventilators in provincial hospitals.

Foreign Minister González Laya and Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa have said they have discussed the matter on several occasions with Turkey, but to no avail. Although Turkey has announced that the consignment may arrive in Spain in the coming weeks, the Spanish government considers the breathing apparatus already lost.

- We can no longer do this, González Laya said.

According to González Laya, the Chinese government has announced that it will introduce new methods to improve the safety of export products.

- This is good news, which gives more certainty about the arrival of the ordered goods, González Laya said at a press conference.