January 14, 2021 | healthcare

United States sends COVID-19 aid to the Kurdistan Region


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The United States on Tuesday delivered medical and laboratory aid to the Kurdistan Region’s health sector to aid the autonomous region in its fight against COVID-19, announced the US consulate in Erbil.

The US Consulate in Erbil handed over medical and laboratory aid from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Kurdistan Region’s health sector on Tuesday, Rob Waller, the US Consul General in Erbil, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“With these supplies, we trust that the region’s health workers will be further protected from catching COVID-19, and that their patients will recover even more quickly from the effects of the virus,” the diplomat stated.

The aid includes equipment for oxygen ventilators, oximeters, disinfectant machines, and protective outfits for the health sector.

“This assistance reflects our deep appreciation of and commitment to the people of the Kurdistan Region,” he added.

USAID created a $670 thousand fund to help the World Health Organization (WHO) support Iraq in fighting the virus in the earlier stages of the pandemic.

Iraq will begin receiving the initial 1.5 million doses of the American Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in February, weeks earlier than previously announced, a health ministry spokesperson told Rudaw English on Monday.

Aso Hawezy, a spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) health ministry, told Rudaw on Saturday that insufficient information on when residents of the Region would be receiving the vaccine, has led them to pursue additional avenues in securing immunization.

'We have contacted Pfizer in order to provide the people in the Kurdistan Region with vaccines, because it is unknown when exactly Iraq is going to provide the vaccine,' he said.

The Kurdistan Region has recorded 104,774 coronavirus cases, including 82,901 recoveries and 3,427 deaths, since the beginning of the outbreak, according to the latest figures from the KRG health ministry released on Wednesday.

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