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COVID-19

With resumption of flights, WHO reports increased deliveries of critical medical supplies

With the resumption of commercial flights and air travel, WHO, through the COVID-19 Supply Chain System, has reported increased deliveries of critical medical supplies for the COVID-19 response to countries facing the greatest need. These supplies include personal protective equipment (PPE), diagnostics and biomedical equipment.

Personal Protective Equipment

Working with the World Food Programme (WFP), which is running warehouse and transport operations for the COVID-19 Supply Chain System, WHO has increased deliveries of PPE – including medical masks, respirator masks, goggles, face shields, gowns and gloves – from 5.5 million to 50.4 million pieces over the past month.

Moving forward, nearly 201 million pieces of PPE will be shipped to 138 countries across all six WHO regions. These numbers include 100 million medical masks and 1 million respirator masks donated by the Jack Ma Foundation.

Nearly 20 million pieces of PPE have now been shipped to the Region of the Americas, currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. A further 70 million pieces of PPE will be shipped over the coming weeks.

WHO is now prioritizing the shipment of 46.4 million pieces of PPE to 52 countries in Africa over the coming weeks.

Diagnostics

Through the diagnostics purchasing consortium, WHO, UNICEF and the Global Fund have procured close to 6 million polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and 5.2 million sample collection kits from a number of manufacturers to increase testing capacity in countries.

To date, 3.1 million PCR tests and 1.7 sample collection kits have been shipped to 137 countries across all WHO regions.

Bio-medical Equipment

Approximately US$19 million of bio-medical equipment – comprising 14 000 oxygen concentrators, 9 700 pulse oximeters and 4 700 patient monitors – have been purchased through the Clinical Care Consortium.

Of WHO’s initial purchase of 4 000 oxygen concentrators, 3 950 concentrators have been shipped to 36 countries that have had the greatest difficulty accessing these life-saving supplies for COVID-19 patients in critical condition. An additional 10 000 oxygen concentrators were purchased in June and will be prepared for shipment upon arrival to the WFP warehouse in China.

COVID-19 Supply Portal

Since the launch of the COVID-19 Supply Portal, 81 countries have submitted 351 requests for supplies with a total estimated value of US$ 174.6 million.

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