May 6, 2020, São Paulo – The first batch of the 240 million masks acquired by the Federal Government to fight COVID-19, arrived in Brazil on Wednesday night (6). LATAM Airlines Group’s Boeing 787-9, chartered by the Ministry of Infrastructure, landed at Guarulhos International Airport at 8:00 p.m., carrying 2,200 boxes of three-layer surgical masks, totaling 4.4 million units. It was the first of 42 flights hired by the Ministry of Infrastructure in order to transport 960 tons of surgical and N95 masks purchased by the Ministry of Health. Personal protection equipment (PPE) will be delivered to the 27 federal stations.
LATAM’s aircraft took off from Shanghai (China) on Tuesday (5), carrying around 25 tons. It stopped in Auckland (New Zealand) and Santiago (Chile) before arriving in Brazil. The equipment was taken to the Ministry of Health’s distribution center in Guarulhos, and will be delivered to the states from there. “We are paying special attention to this major operation to ensure that the equipment reaches health facilities and professionals”, states Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, Infrastructure Minister.
“Through this important partnership, we reaffirm our commitment to Brazilians’ health and the professionals who are fighting the virus in our country. It is truly satisfying for LATAM Cargo to be able to collaborate with the Brazilian authorities to combat this global health crisis together” states Diogo Elias, LATAM Cargo Brazil’s Director.
To help fight the new Coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Infrastructure has developed a logistics and distribution plan that supports the Ministry of Health. The national plan includes actions to ensure agility in the transportation of imported goods, customs clearance at airports and equipment distribution among the states.
In addition to the 42 flights that will be chartered by the government, Americanas will pay to transport 15 million masks for the Ministry of Health in two flights. Other private companies such as Vale have also been supportive: the firm is donating 5 million rapid test kits and 15.8 million PPEs to the Federal Government.