By: Swati Rana
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), has airlifted emergency medical supplies on Wednesday (2) to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The US flight carried 1,200 pulse oximeters and 340,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals in Pakistan.
“The United States and Pakistan have worked together closely to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this donation is being made at the government of Pakistan’s request,” said USAID.
It added, prior to this flight, the US government allocated $40 m (£32m) to Pakistan for Covid-19 response assistance, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for Covid-19 patients.
“This support has benefited more than 2.5 million Pakistanis across the country, providing life-saving treatments, strengthening case-finding and surveillance, and mobilising innovative financing to bolster emergency preparedness,” the agency said.
While 880,000 vital pieces of personal protective equipment and 1,200 pulse oximeters were sent to Sri Lanka on Wednesday (2) to support frontline healthcare workers and others most affected by the current outbreak of Covid-19.
USAID’s assistance has benefited millions of people in all 25 districts and nine provinces across Sri Lanka. The US government has previously provided $11.3 m (£9.3m) to assist Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 response and recovery, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for critically ill patients, said USAID.
The agency informed that the State of California’s Office of Emergency Services generously donated commodities, whereas USAID sourced PPE from the federal emergency management agency and the department of state procured the aircraft being used for transport.
USAID is coordinating additional shipments for South Asia in the coming weeks.
It is also working closely with the private sector to help address the immediate health needs in the region. USAID will leverage its experience with a range of private sector partners to meet the critical needs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.