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One million surgical masks airlifted to Albany International Airport for COVID-19 fight

One million surgical masks airlifted to Albany International Airport for COVID-19 fight

Protective gear is a gift from casino and resort operator Las Vegas Sands
One million surgical masks airlifted to Albany International Airport for COVID-19 fight
The first container of surgical masks unloaded from a private Boeing 767 at Albany International Airport Thursday
Photographer: Peter Barber/Staff Photographer

COLONIE — Albany International Airport had a specially chartered flight arrive Thursday morning: A Boeing 767 airliner carrying a million surgical masks.

The medical supplies — part of the array of personal protective equipment keeping health care workers safe as they treat COVID-19 — are a gift from Las Vegas Sands.

They were flown from Guangzhou, China, on a jet owned by Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon G. Adelson.

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After being unloaded at the airport’s cargo facility on Kelly Road, they were being transported to a state collection center.

New York is the state hardest-hit so far by the pandemic, with more than a third of the nation’s confirmed cases and nearly half the total deaths.

State officials have been struggling to keep up with demand for medical equipment and supplies, particularly at downstate hospitals dealing with the influx of patients.

About 90 percent of the confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide have been reported in New York City and its four closest suburban counties.

Photos: Surgical masks arrive via private jetliner at Albany International Airport

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