Nearly £1billion of Brits taxpayers' cash spent on Chinese PPE supplies – including some from WuhanNovember 9, 2020
NEARLY £1billion of Brit taxpayers’ cash has been spent on PPE supplies from China — including some from Wuhan.
Critics have blasted such vast sums going to a country blamed for being the source of the coronavirus pandemic.
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A mad scramble following the outbreak saw UK officials buy gowns, gloves and aprons from China for NHS staff, with some ventilators coming from Wuhan.
Analysis reveals nearly 90 contracts signed with Chinese firms have been made public, worth £900million.
And they could pass the £1billion mark as more lucrative deals are published.
The two biggest PPE deals were worth £92million and almost £100million to firms in Shenzen and Beijing.
Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation, which treated the PM when he contracted Covid in April, also linked with a Beijing firm, spending £30million on ventilators, gloves, eye shields, goggles and reusable respirators.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at the height of the pandemic that he would “stop at nothing” to protect NHS staff.
But Craig Tiedman, of the Henry Jackson Society think tank, said: “Given China’s role in the mass outbreak of this disease, many taxpayers will feel it to be a rum deal that Chinese firms stand to benefit to the tune of millions in Government contracts.
“This reliance on China for crucial medical supplies at a time in which it is throwing its weight around on the global stage poses an obvious security risk.
“We desperately need a new supply chain strategy on critical goods like PPE.”
The Department of Health said it had built “robust and resilient supply chains” and almost three-quarters of PPE demand would soon be met by UK manufacturers.
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