US, India lend hand in PH COVID-19 efforts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 10) – The United States and India on Friday contributed cots and medical supplies to help in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim handed over the cots, originally intended for the postponed Balikatan 2020 exercises, to Philippine officials led by Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr.

1,100 of the new cots will be issued to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for COVID-19 patients, while 150 units will be allocated to the health department for use by medical frontliners at the Philippine General Hospital.

“We stand together with the Philippines, as both of our nations work to save lives and protect our people in the fight against COVID-19," said Kim in a statement.

The US Embassy also announced it will provide the country ₱204 million for the improvement of its laboratory system preparedness, case-finding and event-based surveillance, technical expert response and preparedness, risk communication, and infection prevention.

India, meanwhile, donated 150,000 pieces of heavy-duty KN95 and N88 face masks.

The ₱12-million delivery was made possible through the efforts of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Indian community in the Philippines.

Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar led the turnover of the face masks to the OCD.

OCD Administrator and Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. received the face masks in behalf of the government.

The donations from the two countries come as the Philippines continues to battle the spread of the disease. As of yesterday’s count, there are now 4,076 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, along with 203 deaths and 124 recoveries.