MANILA – The United States government is providing an additional USD5.3 million (approximately PHP269 million) in health and humanitarian assistance to support the Philippines’ fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the US Embassy in Manila announced Wednesday.
The newest tranche of US assistance brings Washington’s total aid to USD9.3 million or more than PHP470 million.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), with the funding, will collaborate with the Philippine government to implement internationally-recognized prevention, control, and response strategies against infectious diseases.
This will include boosting Manila’s laboratory and specimen-transport systems as well as its case-finding and disease surveillance.
Among others, it will assist Filipino and international technical experts in risk communication, infection prevention and control efforts, handwashing and hygiene promotion, and community-level preparedness and response.
Washington initially announced USD4 million in health funding to support Manila’s efforts to prepare laboratory systems.
The embassy said the US-supported efforts to augment the Department of Health’s testing capacity have so far contributed to an increase in the daily conducted tests from 200 to approximately 3,000 per day.
The USAID’s online learning modules, on the other hand, are boosting capacities in more than 100 hospitals across the country with up-to-date Covid-19 infection prevention and control information and skills.
The agency has also assisted the DOH develop and launch a nationwide commodity and logistics tracking tool that offers real-time data on stores of life-saving Covid-19 commodities, the embassy said.
In addition, the US funding helped Filipino and international technical experts in data collection, including support for two surveillance experts assisting the DOH Epidemiology Bureau with analysis and reporting of Covid-19 cases. (PNA)