New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): To support countries across the South-East Asia region's response to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has provided over 340 metric tonnes (MT) of essential medical supplies and medicines.
"Thousands of oxygen concentrators, testing kits, hospital beds, tents and personal protective equipment are among critical supplies that are being shipped to countries and rushed to areas where they are needed the most," said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, according to an official release.
In India, which in recent weeks accounted for a large proportion of global cases, essential supplies have reached 26 States and Union Territories, within days of a major consignment of medical equipment landing in New Delhi, it said.
"These supplies will help meet immediate needs while countries make long-term arrangements," the Regional Director said.
Last week, 4000 oxygen concentrators, more than 120 tents, 400 medical beds for mobile hospitals, 1.2 million respirator masks, and 650,000 disposable sampling kits were flown into Delhi, the release said.
Dr Singh said WHO has supported India with 170 MT of essential medical supplies - Oxygen concentrators, testing kits, hospital beds, PPEs and auxiliary health facilities near existing hospitals.
"These supplies are expected to help in filling critical gaps", said Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia.
Jointly assessing needs and gaps with countries in the Region, WHO is bringing in more supplies in the coming weeks for Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
"Collective efforts are needed to strengthen pandemic response. WHO is committed to working with all countries in the Region and supporting them in the current surge and beyond," the Regional Director said.
With support from partners and donors, supplies worth USD 15 million have been provided to countries in the current surge, according to the release.
"This is a battle that cannot be fought alone. To curtail the pandemic, we must work together and step up to help each other within and outside our borders," said the Regional Director. (ANI)