The United States Government has handed over 200 modern ventilators to the Nigerian government.
The items were presented on Tuesday by the U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Bert Leonard at the Abuja Premier Medical Warehouse in the nation’s capital.
Speaking during the event, Leonard described the gesture as an indication of a robust diplomatic relationship which both countries have sustained for over 50 years.
She also applauded the Federal Government’s response to the pandemic, assuring Nigeria of the continued support of the United States.
“Nigeria is now one of just two countries in Africa to have an Oxygen Roadmap that seeks to fight against Harmonia, Hyposmia and now COVID-19.
“While we all continue to face unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19, I will like to laud Nigeria’s efforts in taking early action to combat and ameliorate this spread,” she said.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, emphasised on the urgent need for further collaboration to finding potent vaccines and cure for the coronavirus disease.
“These donations consist of 200 modern ventilators as I have just seen which we all know by now are a critical component of the response strategy to save the lives of persons who have been severely impacted by this viral infection.
“I wish to conclude by requesting the United States Government to lend its full weight to global efforts to find efficacious therapeutics and vaccines to neutralise the threat of COVID-19 to the global community,” he said.
The Minister also asked the United States to guarantee fair allocation to all countries and people amid the pandemic.
This comes four months after President Donald Trump administration promised to support the country with ventilators as the Federal Government battles the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world.
Trump’s promise is sequel to a telephone conversation he had with President Muhammadu Buhari on April 28.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this during a briefing said the call which was at the request of the American President centred on Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Mohammed revealed that the conversation of both leaders centred on the efforts of the Nigerian government to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Although Nigeria reported 1,337 confirmed COVID-19 cases with its death toll at 40 as of April 26, the number of infections has however risen to 46,867 with 950 fatalities recorded as of August 10.
Worried by the number of fatalities from COVID-19 in the country, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had warned that Nigeria could regret if people do not adhere to protocols put in place by the government and relevant agencies.
Dr Ehanire issued the warning during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday.
The Minister reminded Nigerians that until a vaccine is found for the virus, adherence to the guidelines is the surest way to stay safe.
“Until there is a vaccine, the only options we have to protect ourselves, are still the non-pharmaceutical measures that are proven to be cheap and effective, such as the appropriate use of face masks, physical distancing, and avoiding crowds. If we do not adhere, there could be regrets,” he warned.