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The United States has delivered P26.4 million worth of Covid-19 response equipment to Davao City.

The US government handed PHP26.4 million worth of medical equipment to Davao City on Friday, including four vaccine cold storage units for the eight community-based coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cluster clinics.

During the opening of the clinics in Davao City, Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava of the US Embassy in Manila handed out ten intensive care unit (ICU) beds, four cold storage units, and other medical equipment and supplies to Mayor Sara Z. Duterte.

“As a friend, partner, and ally, the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with you in combating Covid-19 and promoting long-term actions that ensure health, peace, and prosperity in the southern Philippines,” Variava stated.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) collaborated with the Davao City Health Office on a proposal to establish eight “Covid-19 cluster clinics” in strategic areas to facilitate fast, accessible, and Covid-19 treatments.

These clinics, according to the envoy, would not only provide communities with free Covid-19 diagnostics and treatments, but also function as immunization sites.

According to Health Assistant Secretary Roy Ferrer, USAID’s latest help will be critical in preventing the spread of infection in the area.

“The dispatch of mobile swabbing teams and provision of testing kits and supplies, which now includes the deployment of vaccination teams to far-flung places, demonstrates USAID’s support in boosting capacity in case detection and testing,” he said.

The current commitment follows the US Department of Defense’s (DOD) donation of PHP6.9 million in ICU beds and vaccine cold storage units to the Philippines in October and November, which the DOD sees as a symbol of the two countries’ strong cooperation.

“These trying times highlight the importance of our collaboration,” said Maj. Scott Holub, commanding commander of Special Operations Task Force 511.2.

“We are continuing to support the southern Philippines in its fight against the Covid-19 epidemic with our donation to the Covid-19 Cluster Clinic.” The donated refrigerators would help Davao’s efforts by allowing it to keep 80,000 vaccines, while the ICU beds will allow for extended patient care,” he added.

According to the US Embassy in Manila, Washington D.C. has already contributed more than PHP1.9 billion (USD39 million) to the Philippines’ pandemic response.

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