February 27th, Beijing – This afternoon, a UNDP shipment of 2,000 protective suits arrived at Beijing Capital Airport and was handed over to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) for distribution to medical centers and hospitals through the Beijing branch of China’s Red Cross Society. This is the first batch of a total of 10,000 suits that have been procured by UNDP in response to the COVID19 epidemic in the country. A second shipment is expected to be dispatched tomorrow.
This donation of protective suits comes as public health systems, and emergency services in the country are still feeling the pressure of high demand for medical equipment and materials. According to the WHO, as of February 26th, there were nearly 80,000 confirmed cases of COVID19 in China. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is vital to reduce the infection risk facing frontline health personnel.
“In the battle against this epidemic, every piece of equipment is critical,” stated Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China. “UNDP will continue to support China both in the short and long term, as the country fights to control the outbreak.”
In total, UNDP has secured $500,000 in funding to support immediate response measures. Earlier this month, UNDP already made a donation of urgently needed supplies including patient monitoring systems and infusion pumps. Additional supplies were also procured on behalf of the United Nations Office for South South Cooperation (UNOSSC). These included 15 non-invasive ventilators and 1,000 protective suits.
The specifications of all donated PPE and medical supplies are first coordinated with the National Health Commission and approved by MOFCOM to ensure they meet necessary standards and address the most urgent shortages.