• Melo Acuna

ADB grants PH with US$3 million to fight COVID-19

COVID-19 cases rise to 111; ADB fast tracks US$3 million grant

MANILA – From 2:00 P.M. today when the Department of Health reported a total of 98 COVID-19 cases across the country, it has increased to 111 as 13 additional cases were reported as of 9:00 P.M. Saturday.

In a statement send to media outlets, the Department of Health said PH-99-PH111 were included in their list after complete validation of laboratory results were confirmed yesterday.’’

Information of the new cases is currently being validated and will be released to the public as soon as it is available,” the statement further said.

In another development, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$3 million grant to support the Philippine government’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including the purchase of emergency medical supplies and the delivery of effective health care services.

In a statement released today, the ADB said the assistance which incorporated ADB’s most flexible, expeditious procurement approaches, allows the government to purchase diagnostic reagents and equipment, materials for makeshift hospitals, and personal protection suppliers for health workers attending to severe COVID-19 cases.

“ADB;s assistance will help the Philippines, our host country, address the immediate financial and logistical constraints on the provision of emergency medical services during this extraordinary public health emergency,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. He said the assistance will allow the government to purchase key medical supplies and equipment, deliver health services, and minimize the social and economic disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. This is the first step in what will be a broader program of working with the government to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 to health and economic activity.

It will be recalled President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of public health emergency on March 8 and upgraded the alert to its highest level on March 12 based on data about community transmission.

ADB will manage the grant which will be financed by the Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund and work closely with the Department of Health and the World Health Organization and other United nations technical agencies to assure everyone of timely delivery of the medical supplies.

According to the ADB statement, the new assistance comes from its previous response to COVID-19, including the US$200 million made available through ADB’s Supply Chain Finance Program for companies manufacturing and distributing medicines and other items needed to combat the pandemic. (Melo M. Acuña)

President Rodrigo Duterte meets new ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa (centre) accompanied by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III. (ADB Photo)

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