Estonia to support Italy and Spain with money and masks

Estonia will allocate €100,000 and send 30,000 face masks to both Italy and Spain to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Estonia will allocate €100,000 to both Italy and Spain via the International Red Cross to control the spread of the coronavirus, the Estonian government announced on Thursday. Estonia will also send 30,000 face masks and 2,000 units of disinfectant manufactured by the local producer, Nordic Group, to both countries.

Curiously, the donation was done in the framework of NATO, rather than the European Union. “Spain and Italy requested assistance from their allies and Estonia, together with other NATO member states, has decided to offer them the help they need,” Jüri Ratas, the Estonian prime minister, said in a statement.

“Both Italy and Spain have repeatedly demonstrated their solidarity and contributed to the security of the alliance and our region by participating in NATO battle groups, air policing in the Baltic states, and in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn,” Ratas said. “Therefore, is quite evident that Estonia supports them in this difficult time for of our allies.”

Coincidentally, Spain will take over the Baltic Air Policing mission in May.

Many NATO allies and European countries help Italy and Spain

Other NATO allies and European countries have helped Italy and Spain. For example, the Czech Republic sent 10,000 protective suits both to Italy and Spain. Denmark sent ventilators and a field hospital to Italy. Germany sent 5,000 ventilators to Spain and has brought patients in serious conditions with military aircraft from Italy to Germany. Turkey donated personal protective equipment and disinfectants to Spain and Italy, including 450,000 protective masks. Poland sent 15 and Albania 30 doctors to help Italy.

Italy and Spain are currently ranking among the worst affected countries in the world’s statistics on infection and mortality is still increasing.

Spain submitted a request for assistance on 24 March and Italy on 26 March, through the NATO Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre, where they provided detailed information on material shortages and the necessary equipment to fight the virus. Estonia’s dispatchment of masks and disinfectants should reach Italy and Spain next week the latest.

For the latest developments in Estonia, follow our special blog on coronavirus.

Cover: A local office of the Red Cross in the town of Salò, in Lombardy region on the banks of Lake Garda, Italy. Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger/Unsplash. The image is illustrative.

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