VILNIUS - Lithuania is buying almost 1.8 million respirators and 5.7 million disposable masks from China, with the shipment expected to be delivered within two weeks, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said on Friday.
"This is the largest quantity Lithuania has ever had," Veryga told the public broadcaster LRT.
"This quantity will be enough to provide respirators to health workers who are not dealing directly with infected or suspected patients, too," he added.
The Health Ministry said on Friday that the contract with China also included 810,000 safety glasses, 1.8 million disposable caps, 1.8 million disposable gowns, 1.05 million disposable overalls, 15 million disposable gloves, and 3.6 million disposable overshoes.
According to Veryga, the contact was finalized on Thursday and signed on Friday.
The minister said he expected the shipment to reach Lithuania in less than two weeks.
"Once the parcels are formed in warehouses, Lithuania will be ready to arrange for them to be quickly transported by air," he said.
Also, the Health Emergency Situations Centre has signed a contract to purchase 80,000 FFP3 respirators from Jugrita, a Lithuanian medical supplies company.
The Health Ministry said on Friday that the first deliveries to Lithuania under the contract with Jugrita were to be made this week, with the rest to be shipped within the coming week.
Lithuania has also submitted an application to purchase 300,000 respirators, 1 million disposable masks and 400 artificial ventilation devices through a centralized procurement procedure organized by the European Commission,
The ministry did not say how much the protective gear would cost the country.
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and those tested for the virus continues to increase in Lithuania, health workers complain of a shortage of protective gear.