MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The government is expecting a delivery of one million sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) from China, said National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
The first batch of 15,000 PPE sets arrived at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on Tuesday, March 31, Galvez said in a televised presser on Thursday evening, April 2.
These were “immediately distributed” to the following government hospitals designated for novel coronavirus patients:
- Philippine General Hospital
- Jose Rodriguez
- Lung Center of the Philippines
- East Avenue Medical Center
- Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center
The remaining 985,000 sets of PPEs are expected to be delivered to the Philippines from April 6 to 24, Galvez said. (READ: Gov’t plans to ‘isolate’ confirmed, possible coronavirus patients by April 14)
The procurement of these PPEs is a government-to-government deal. Galvez did not mention the price.
Each disposable PPE set includes the following: cover-all, surgical gown, medical goggles, gloves, shoe cover, head cover, surgical mask, N95 mask.
The government is also expecting 30,000 sets of PPE to be donated by casino giant Solaire and its owner, businessman Enrique Razon.
San Miguel Corporation president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang is also donating more than 100 ventilators and P500 million worth of PPEs, Galvez said.
The NTF will distribute the PPEs and ventilators according to the hospitals’ bed capacities and the number of COVID-19 patients under their care. (READ: Task force vs coronavirus ‘gearing up for massive testing’)
The deadly virus has spread all over the country, but Galvez said Metro Manila, parts of Central Luzon, and Calabarzon are the “most affected areas.”
The scarcity of PPEs has hampered the ability of health-care professionals to confront the pandemic. Among the first to have contracted and succumbed to the deadly respiratory disease were doctors, nurses, and other frontline health workers.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has recorded 2,633 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 107 deaths and 51 recoveries. – Rappler.com
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