USG BOOSTS GPH COVID-19 RECOVERY THROUGH MORE TESTING KITS, PPEs AND EQUIPMENT

The U.S. Government (USG) recently boosted the country’s national COVID-19 response through donations of health equipment and logistics kits. These include 18,000 rapid antigen and other test kits, and more than 100 WASH kits for schools and the Manila City Health Department. The U.S. also provided TaqPath COVID testing reagents for the Philippine Genome Center, which allows for 10,000 more tests. Also handed over to the Government of the Philippines (GPH) were an assortment of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and many others.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in support of the Philippines’ PinasLakas vaccination and booster campaign, initiated a pediatric vaccination activity with handover of COVID-19 aid and logistical equipment last August 6, 2022 at the historic Manila Zoo. Present in the event were U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. MaryKay Carlson, Department of Health (DOH) Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire, and Manila City Mayor Dr. Honey Lacuna. They, along with other senior health and local officials, witnessed the latest of the USG’s donations to support the country’s COVID-19 prevention and control efforts since 2020.

“Working with the international community has helped keep Filipinos and Philippines health systems at low risk through the worst parts of this pandemic,” said DOH OIC Vergeire, as she expressed gratitude to the USG for their donation.

“As the Philippines continues to work to vaccinate people, to reduce the spread and save lives, the United States stands with you,” remarked Secretary of State Blinken. He also congratulated the GPH for its commendable vaccination milestones and untiring efforts to combat the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the COVAX Facility, the United States has donated more than 33 million life-saving vaccine doses to the Philippines, consisting of Pfizer, Moderna and J&J platforms.

Meanwhile, the DOH committed to intensifying its vaccination efforts and vaccine storage management to reach the Marcos administration’s target of fully vaccinating 70% of the total population or 78,100,578 Filipinos under the PinasLakas campaign. This is in addition to providing first boosters to 50% of those eligible, or 39,050,289 Filipinos. Insofar as younger citizens are concerned, more than 9.7 million Filipino adolescents along with more than 4.2 million Filipino children have already been fully-vaccinated against COVID-19. The DOH will be closely working with the country’s LGUs to ensure all school-aged children will have access to the additional doses donated by the USG.

“We’ve come a long way from when this virus first hit our shores. With all the tools and resources we now have, we are capable of protecting our children and providing them the safe and much-needed face to face education that they deserve,” said DOH OIC Vergeire. “We will continue to actively collaborate with our partners to ensure that all of our communities are safe,” she added.