German customs has reportedly seized face masks and other supplies destined for Switzerland, as European states struggle against the coronavirus pandemic with their limited medical equipment.
Authorities seized high-quality respiratory masks and other protective clothing for doctors and the general population during an inspection of a distribution center in Juechen, North Rhine-Westphalia, the Rheinische Post reported. US-based company 3M was reportedly planning on exporting the medical supplies to Switzerland.
Germany imposed export bans on such goods at the start of March, as part of the country's anti-coronavirus measures.
Sources cited by local media said that customs officials discovered "several truckloads" of medical supplies that were being prepared for illegal shipment. The unnamed sources said that some of the protective gear may have also been destined for the United States.
Covid-19 has strained European cooperation and unity, with EU states shutting down borders and showing reluctance to send medical supplies to the hardest-hit countries, such as Italy.
Deaths from the virus in Europe have already surpassed those in Asia, as Western nations brace for what many believe could be a health crisis that will overwhelm most healthcare systems.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Archbp. Lefebvre 1980