Canada support for COVID-19 fight
Barbados received CAN$485 614 in COVID-19 supplies from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) on Wednesday. The donation is as a result of a CAN$17.5 million commitment to PAHO by the Government of Canada.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Jeffrey Bostic, accepted the donation, which comprised 59 200 respirator masks, 256 000 medical masks, 2 800 protective goggles and 8 400 isolation gowns.
PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr Yitades Gebre, explained at the handover ceremony that the Canadian Government had provided the funding to assist in the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
PAHO is using the money to bolster the essential services necessary to save lives, to protect healthcare workers and to support efforts to slow the speed of transmission of the virus.
Bostic, in expressing thanks to PAHO and the Canadian Government, said the donation had come at “just the right time”.
“It comes at a time when we have commenced the resumption of commercial flights into Barbados, and with the resumption of commercial flights, that signals another phase in our efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
He said equipment for frontline workers to safely execute their duties was essential to the success of these efforts.
“Our efforts will be based on a lot of testing at the airport, testing at satellite facilities and, as the flights ramp up, testing throughout the country,” he said.
The Minister said he looked forward to further collaboration with the Government of Canada and other friendly governments as well as with PAHO, which has been providing not only material support to Barbados, in respect of the pandemic, but also valuable technical advice. At the handover ceremony, which took place at PAHO’s Dayrells Road headquarters, the Canadian High Commission in Barbados was represented by Senior Development Officer, Natalie Hutchinson. (BGIS)
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