Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III received various health commodities donated by the World Health Organization (WHO), at the Department of Health (DOH) Central Office today.

WHO Country Representative in the Philippines, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, turned over $3.1 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPEs) consisting of gowns (230,900 pcs), KN95 masks (405,000 pcs), face shields (187,800 pcs), goggles (159,540 pcs), gloves (489,000 pairs) and surgical masks (1,600,000 pcs).

The WHO also handed over 350 units of oxygen concentrators, a medical device used for breathing-related disorders caused by low oxygen concentration in the blood.

“The recent decline in cases in Metro Manila does not mean the pandemic is over, and now is not the time to relax. We must continue to build on this success in Metro Manila and support the control in newly emerging hotspots in other regions of the Philippines as we continue to save lives and ensure a gradual opening of the economy,” said Dr Abeyasinghe. “As we support the COVID-19 response of the Philippines, we need to ensure we detect cases early, quarantine close contacts and continue to expand healthcare pathways. WHO stands in solidarity with the Philippine government’s response to COVID-19 to protect the Filipino people.

Secretary Duque expressed his thanks to WHO’s continued support to the country’sCOVID-19 National Action Plans and in managing pre-covid outbreaks like polio and measles

“The way to defeat any pandemic is to collectively work and fight against it. With the WHO and other partner organizations, both from the public and private sector, fighting this battle alongside us, we are confident that we can beat this pandemic and we will recover as one,” said the Health Chief.

He also reminded everyone to strictly observe the minimum health standards. “Mahalagang maintindihan natin na ang labang ito ay nangangailangan ng pagtutulungan. Bawat isa sa atin ay malaki ang papel na ginagampanan lalong-lalo na ang ating mga kababayan. Wala pong silbe ang mga health commodities na ito kung hindi kayo mag-iingat at susunod sa ating mga minimum health standards,” Secretary Duque emphasized.

The health commodities donated by WHO Philippines are part of the humanitarian aid donation for COVID-19 response based on the global allotment of the WHO Headquarters. These will be turned over to the Office of Civil Defense tasked with the accounting and distribution of commodities