- Title: Czechs send facemasks to Italy after confusion with impounded shipment
- Date: 23rd March 2020
- Summary: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (MARCH 23, 2020) (REUTERS) WORKERS LOADING BOXES WITH PROTECTIVE MASKS INTO BUS BOXES WITH MASKS IN LUGGAGE HOLD VARIOUS OF WORKERS INCLUDING CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER, TOMAS PETRICEK, LOADING THE BUS (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER, TOMAS PETRICEK, SAYING: "We have agreed with the Italian embassy that they will receive the freight (masks) upon the arrival of the bus, which is also carrying Italian citizens, to Italy. The bus will then take Czech citizens, who have no other means of getting back to Czechia." BOXES WITH PROTECTIVE MASKS BUS LOADED WITH BOXES EXTERIOR OF MAIN RAILWAY STATION IN PRAGUE ITALIAN CITIZENS IN THE WAITING ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (English) ITALIAN CITIZEN, CLAUDIA MUCIANI, SAYING: "I am coming home because my mom wants me to come back because of the situation, the spread of the virus." PEOPLE IN WAITING ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (English) ITALIAN CITIZEN FROM BOLOGNA, DEVIS KARRI, SAYING: "I just want to get home. I changed my mind, I wanted to stay here until two days ago, and then two days ago I hear about the last bus going to Italy and I decided to take it." BUS ARRIVING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ITALIAN CITIZEN, FREDERICO CARETTI, SAYING: "I am afraid to stay far from my country, and to my family. I am proud to be Italian." VARIOUS OF ITALIAN PEOPLE WITH SUITCASES ARRIVING TO BUS VARIOUS OF MAN ORGANISING BOARDING BUS DRIVERS LOADING BUS WITH SUITCASES VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WAITING AND ENTERING BUS BUS LEAVING
- Keywords: Italians leaving Czech Republic coronavirus outbreak masks shipment repatriation
- Reuters ID: LVA001C69WEVB
- Location: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- City: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- Country: Czech Republic
- Duration: 00:02:47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: The Czech Republic sent 110,000 face masks to Italy on Monday (March 23) after confusion around a larger shipment of protective gear impounded by Czech authorities last week.
The masks were loaded onto a bus that was also carrying 43 Italian citizens, which departed from Prague's main railway station.
Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said the bus would return to the Czech Republic carrying Czech citizens who had no other way to get home.
The masks replaced part of a shipment of 700,000 face masks and respirators impounded by Czech customs last Tuesday (March 17).
Authorities said the shipment had been ordered by Czech medical authorities but an unnamed intermediary demanded to hike the price.
Later it was determined that a small part of the shipment - 101,600 face masks - was a gift by the Red Cross from the Chinese city of Qing Tian to the Chinese community in Italy, Czech government officials said.
(Production: Jiri Skacel, Lewis Macdonald)
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