Turkey says the PPE in question are commercial merchandise that a private company has sold to the United Kingdom, but there have been no complaints.

Turkish medical equipment being prepared to be shipped and distributed amid the global coronavirus epidemic in this file photo, April 25, 2020
Turkish medical equipment being prepared to be shipped and distributed amid the global coronavirus epidemic in this file photo, April 25, 2020 (AA)

A UK government statement confirmed earlier comments on Thursday by Turkish officials that PPE sent by Ankara had met all safety expectations.

The statement said that since a private company was unable to fill the order for medical supplies, the Turkish government stepped in and provided 68,000 PPE. 

"All of the PPE provided by the Turkish authorities had passed the quality tests," the statement added.

UK's ambassador to Turkey, Dominick Chilcott, in a tweet also said the claims circulating on British media on Turkey provided PPE being unusable are untrue and the equipment "are suitable for use in the NHS."

A senior Turkish official had denied earlier reports on Thursday claiming Britain would return 400,000 units of personal protective equipment (PPE) sent by Turkey to help the UK in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Some media reports claimed that a large sum of gowns purchased by a private company were labelled as not meeting British standards.

“There is no problem with medical supplies that are donated by Turkey or purchased from the country. All of them comply with international standards,” said Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran.

Turkey says the PPE in question are commercial merchandise that a private company has sold to the United Kingdom, but there have been no complaints.

“There is no information or data conveyed to us officially,” he said. “We believe that the British authorities will fix this as soon as possible.”

Selegna Textile, which sold the protective gowns to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), denied the reports.

Mehmet Duzen from the Istanbul-based company said it contacted the NHS on Wednesday and did not receive any complaints.

“The test report of the fabric was received according to the European norms, sent to the customer, the certificates of the production sites were declared and the order was taken, the products were prepared,” Duzen said, reiterating there was no complaint.

Britain thanked Turkey last month for sending medical equipment to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

British Defense Minister Ben Wallace “expressed gratitude” for Turkey’s delivery last week of 250,000 items PPEs, including 50,000 N95 face masks, 100,000 surgical masks and 100,000 protective suits. 

The UK has failed to provide its staff with the necessary PPE to protect medical workers against the coronavirus disease.

The Department of Health claims many countries are "procuring PPE, leading to shortages around the world, not just the UK”

At least 30,000 people have died in the UK from Covid-19, making it the second-highest death toll in the world.

At least 100 British healthcare workers have also been killed due to the virus.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies