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Coronavirus: 16 million masks are coming to Belgium

A Belgian airline will fly millions of mouth masks to Belgium on Thursday. Credit: Belga

Hasselt-based airline ASL Group will fly 16 million mouth masks from China to Belgium on Thursday to help fight the new coronavirus (Covid-19), VRT NWS reported.

“We’re expecting the biggest load so far. That’ll be between 15 and 17 million mouth masks,” said CEO Philippe Bodson. “Because it concerns large quantities and large distances we are chartering a Boeing 747.”

The 747 will be rented from what Bodson calls a “normal” airline, as ASL Group is mostly known for business flights with private jets, according to the VRT.

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The airline previously delivered 5 million medical masks for which it had chartered a Boeing 747 as well. The airline has also repatriated stranded Belgians. “We’ve flown a lot out of Marrakech, but also out of Tenerife,” Bodson said. “Within a radius of four hours flying from Belgium, most people have returned home. But there are still people in, for example, Laos who we are trying to bring home now.”

News of the delivery comes as Belgium faces the “week of truth,” as the head of the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine, Geert Meyfroidt calls it, with the number of cases having surged to nearly 12,000 and 927 patients currently being in the intensive care unit. 

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times