Human Rights & Democracy

European Union, WHO deliver critical supplies to fight COVID-19 to healthcare institutions in Minsk region

13/07/2020 - 15:59
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Personal protective equipment purchased by the World Health Organization (WHO) with the European Union’s funds has been delivered to the Minsk region. Healthcare facilities in the region have been provided with 455,500 units of personal protective equipment, including 300,000 medical masks, 133,000 respirators, 6,000 pairs of goggles, 6,000 face shields and 10,500 medical gowns.

All the medical supplies have been tested for compliance with international quality and safety standards and are designed for healthcare professionals who are at the forefront of combating COVID-19.

Today Head of the European Union Delegation to Belarus Ambassador Dirk Schuebel and WHO Representative in Belarus Batyr Berdyklychev took part in a ceremony of handing over part of the shipment to the Minsk Regional Antituberculosis Dispensary, whose inpatient facilities had been repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients.

The personal protective equipment delivered today is part of a shipment of 3.6 million units that arrived in Belarus in late June and was distributed throughout all the regions of Belarus.

EU Ambassador Dirk Schuebel said: "Today we are taking another joint step in our fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. It is important to join forces in this area. The European Union, in partnership with the World Health Organization, is addressing these issues. Personal protective equipment will be provided to all Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. We also provide expertise and advice to our neighboring countries. We and our partners are here to help the Belarusian national healthcare system in this difficult period."

"Healthcare workers are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 while doing their work. The WHO recommends that all necessary measures be taken to minimize risks to their health and safety. Supplying them with appropriate personal protective equipment and teaching them to use it properly will enable healthcare professionals to provide medical care in safer conditions," said WHO Representative in Belarus Batyr Berdyklychev. "This delivery of personal protective equipment has been made possible the the financial support of the European Union, and the WHO is very pleased to be able to purchase and supply these important goods despite their global shortage," he added.

The supply of personal protective equipment is part of a broader package of assistance from the WHO and the EU to prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Over the next two years, the WHO and the EU will continue to support Belarus in building the country's capacity to respond to public health emergencies.

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