Beijing, February 12 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is donating critical medical supplies, through initial emergency funding of half a million US$, to help China’s frontline health personnel combat the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic.
The first batch of supplies was handed over to the Ministry of Commerce for distribution today at the UN Compound in Beijing. Included in the initial shipment are patient monitoring systems, infusion pumps, and other medical equipment. In addition, much needed shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) will also be arriving soon, which are vital to reduce the infection risk facing the frontline health personnel.
“UNDP and the United Nations system stand firmly with the Government and the people of China during this critical time. Our UNDP country office in Beijing is in close touch with relevant authorities to provide emergency support and assist with the procurement of critical medical supplies,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner in a letter of support sent directly to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The supplies will be delivered to health facilities with priority needs which are experiencing shortages due to unprecedented demand as a result of the outbreak.
Currently, there are over 40,000 confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus across 25 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The vast majority of these cases are in Hubei, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, where health personnel have been working tirelessly to treat patients and control the spread of the virus.
“I am heartened by the efforts that the Government of China is making, to rein in this challenging threat to public health in China and around the globe,” said Steiner. “The contribution that frontline health and emergency services at the epicenter of the epidemic in China are making, and the determination of the Chinese people, deserve our admiration,” he added.
UNDP is working closely with the Government of China to ensure that assistance is aligned with the country’s national priorities and response strategies. In addition, UNDP is communicating regularly within the United Nations System to coordinate response efforts. It is also looking at different ways of helping personnel on the ground, who are fighting to stem the epidemic.
“UNDP stands together with everyone on the frontline of the battle against this epidemic,” said Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China, in a video statement issued last Friday. “With international solidarity and China’s strong resolve, we are confident that together we will win this fight.”
 WHO 2019-nCoV Situation Dashboard, http://who.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/c88e37cfc43b4ed3baf977d77e4a0667.
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