Despite the NHS struggling to give staff adequate provisions, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sent thousands of pounds worth of equipment to the eastern European state. At the height of the pandemic, the MoD sent a £24,816 shipment of PPE to Ukraine. Express.co.uk commentator, Frederick Forsyth, shed light on the matter in an explosive attack on the wasted money and equipment by the department.
In his comment piece, he said: “The Ministry of Defence, as our Army is cut to the bone and into the marrow, spent £24,816 sending Covid-protective PPE clothing to the Ukrainian army.
“And there were we thinking British nurses were working without any.”
In a Freedom of Information request from the Taxpayers Alliance, the donation was made to Ukraine to aid their response.
In the shipment, the MoD sent 41,050 surgical face masks, respirators and infrared thermometers to Ukraine.
While the NHS was having to scramble to provide equipment for staff, the former deputy head of mission at the British embassy in Kiev Helen Fazey, said it showed the unity between the two nations.
She said: “Responding to COVID-19 is a challenge all countries share.
“This donation is one way in which we show solidarity between the UK and Ukraine.”
An MoD spokesman said in a statement: “Following an emergency request for assistance, purchases were made in-country and had no impact on UK supply chains.”
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To combat the virus, the NHS needs vast amounts of PPE equipment per month and it is advised not to reuse the items.
Indeed, although the UK has now passed the first wave of the virus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has come under fire for claiming there had been no shortage of equipment.
He defended the work his team had done and instead claimed no shortage had occurred because of his staff.
Despite the severe issues suffered due to coronavirus last year and this January, the UK has begun to turn the curve in its battle with the pandemic.
Due to the vaccine rollout, infection rates have dropped across the country after spiking to huge levels in January due to the new strains of the virus.
According to the UK Government’s figures, 18,691,835 have been offered a first shot of the vaccine as of February 24.
This has seen cases drop from a high of 68,053 on January 8 to 7,871 on February 25 in terms of cases per date reported.