Coronavirus: WHO selects Liège airport as key medical supply hub

Coronavirus: WHO selects Liège airport as key medical supply hub
Liège's cargo airport will be part of efforts by the WHO to boost global distribution of medical supplies critical in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. © Belga

Liège's cargo airport has been selected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of eight hubs of distribution for medical supplies critical for countries fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Through a global supply task force, the WHO is expected to move around 100 million face masks and gloves, 25 million respirators, 2.5 million testing kits via the hub network each month.

Liège-Bierset will serve as the European hub for the globe's top health authority, and was selected alongside airports in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malaysia, China and Panama, L'Echo reports.

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The network is also expected to manage the distribution of oxygen concentrator devices and personal protective equipment such as medical gowns and visors.

According to cargo flight publication Stat Trade Times, the cargo airport is equipped to handle relief operations from 11 April and until at least the end of May.

A representative for the Walloon airport said that their dense network of interconnections throughout the continent and the fact that they operate 24-hours a day played a main role in their selection.

The cargo airport, which also serves as the European hub for online commerce giant Alibaba, has already received 87 million face masks destined for both Belgium and other European countries.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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