Permanent Secretary (PS) Collette Adams accepted the supplies which included protective face masks, PPEs and 100 infrared thermometers, medical goggles, disposable gloves and isolation shoe covers.
Director of the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Forbes July, explained that the timely gesture by the Chinese government is as a result of the countries’ international bond.
“The Ministry has been involved with the Chinese embassy in terms of facilitating an exchange by Chinese experts on COVID-19. The ministry is also engaged with other international partners in terms of accessing supplies for COVID-19,” the Director disclosed.
In his remarks, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy, Chen Xilai, also noted the relationship between the two countries which dates back to 1972 and emphasised the necessity for the two nations to collaborate to fight the pandemic.
“This is why the first batch of PPEs have arrived in Guyana and we can have this transfer ceremony,” Xilai said and assured that there will be more assistance from his government.
Further assistance from the People’s Republic of China, is forthcoming as an estimated 30,000 masks and a number of ventilators and other essential medical equipment are on their way to Guyana.
In the meantime, the United States Government has committed an additional $1.7 million (USD) to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean.
This is in addition to the US $475,000 donated last Thursday to help address Guyana’s priority areas of laboratory diagnostics and systems strengthening and supplies, surveillance, infection prevention & control, and emergency operation centres.
The money is part of that country’s ongoing commitment to Guyana through the U.S. Caribbean Resiliency Partnership, part of a regional funding package of US$3,000,000 provided to support the current COVID-19 Response.
United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch says her government "is committed to assisting the people of Guyana to combat the spread of COVID-19 to prevent illness and deaths associated with the dreaded pandemic and ultimately improve the quality of life and the economic outcomes of this wonderful country and its people.”
She said through this assistance, USAID will support:
- Infection prevention and control in health-care facilities.
- Communications to help educate people on steps they can take to prevent and respond to the spread of the virus, through country-specific media campaigns.
- Surveillance and rapid response with case-finding and event-based surveillance for COVID-19. USAID also helps countries train and support rapid-response teams to investigate cases and conduct contact tracing.
Previously in Guyana, the United States Government has contributed substantially to improving the healthcare services, systems and infrastructure with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Cervical Cancer and Zika infections. Support through USAID and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) resulted in Guyana being the first country in the region to attain the 1st pillar in the goal to achieve epidemic control of HIV; by diagnosing at least 90% of those persons estimated to be living with HIV.
Because an infectious-disease threat anywhere can become a threat everywhere, the United States calls on other donors to contribute to the global effort to combat COVID-19.
- Countries: Guyana
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