A shipment of medical respirators, masks, goggles, face shields and gowns to enable health-care workers in Georgia to continue to respond effectively and safely to the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the country. This is one of the largest cargos of protective equipment to arrive in Georgia with donor support. The donation of the personal protective equipment with WHO is part of the European Union’s response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Georgia.
The delivery of up to 1.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment, funded by the European Union and procured by WHO, includes 5,000 faceshields, 13,200 protective goggles, 30,000 isolation gowns, 1,000,000 medical masks and 328,000 respirator masks.
Vincent Rey, Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, and Silviu Domente, WHO Representative in Georgia, handed over the equipment to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia.
These supplies will safeguard those in the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, and ensure that the health system is well prepared in case of additional needs in the near future.
The items in the package, checked for compliance to quality and safety standards before delivery, will equip healthcare workers of the Lugar Centre for Public Health Research, nine regional labs of the National Centre for Disease Control, Emergency Situations Coordination and Urgent Medical Assistance Centre, as reported by local media agenda.ge
“In the fight against the pandemic, the support of both the European Union and WHO is crucial. This 15 tons of cargo is one of the largest contributions that Georgia has received during this difficult period. This assistance is of strategic importance and is intended to protect health of doctors and medical staff who make a vital contribution to the fight against coronavirus. It is for their commitment that Georgia stands where it does today and is one of the most successful examples of fighting the virus. Of course, this would have not been so easy without the help from our strategic partners,” – says Ekaterine Tikaradze, Minsiter of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia.
Further medical based support, implemented with WHO, will include training for health-care workers and frontline responders and a strengthening the health sector’s overall preparedness and response capacities.
This assistance is part of a wider package of EU support for Georgia of over €400 million (almost GEL 1.5 billion) which includes support to vulnerable groups and economic recovery. In total, the EU has committed over €15 billion globally to support partner countries combat COVID-19.
Earlier this month, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia, Mr. UEHARA Tadaharu and Minister of Finance of Georgia, Mr. Ivane Matchavariani signed the Exchange of Notes between Japan and Georgia, for provision of medical equipment to Georgia. The Government of Japan provided medical equipment equivalent to 300 million yen or 2.8 million US dollars. Read more.
From the early days of the pandemic, as the EU took immediate measures to tackle the crisis, it was clear that the recovery would require a joint effort at EU level. EU leaders decided to work towards establishing a recovery fund and they agreed on the €750 billion recovery package to help the EU tackle the crisis caused by the pandemic. President of Georgia welcomed recovery package and sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, calling the unanimous agreement on the stimulus package to help the EU tackle the crisis caused by the pandemic a historic decision.