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Aid donated to fight COVID-19 reaches 99.85 b kip

Assistance provided in cash and in-kind to help the government battle the COVID-19 pandemic has reached more than 99.85 billion kip, and the purchase of additional urgently needed equipment is underway, authorities have said.
The aid has contributed significantly to the virus prevention and control effort and enabled Laos to minimise infections to just 19 with all patients already discharged from hospital. There have been no new cases for 58 consecutive days in Laos as of June 8.
Individuals, businesses, international organisations and friendly countries have provided the assistance, the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said in its latest report.
The aid provided from February 19 - May 31 included more than 17.5 billion kip in cash that comprised over 11.7 billion in kip, almost US$500,000 (4.4 billion kip) and more than 4.5 million Thai baht (1.3 billion kip).
The assistance in kind amounting to more than 82.35 billion kip comprised a wide range of equipment and supplies, including PPE, virus detection sets, face masks, medical equipment, isolation gowns, gloves, surgical masks, alcohol hand-rub, biohazard disposal bags and safety boxes.
The supplies and equipment have been distributed to central and local organisations, especially hospitals, health departments, border checkpoints and ministries whose staff are at the COVID-19 frontline.
In addition, the government has allocated and approved the use of 30 billion kip from its emergency fund to fight against COVID-19, including purchasing necessary equipment. As of May 31, some 23.34 billion kip of this budget has been spent, according to the taskforce committee.
The government has committed to make the most effective use of the supplies and donated money.
It has centralised the management of the aid, including the equipment, which is managed via the m-supply system, which records each receipt and issue of stock for an item to ensure effective use.
The committee said the bidding process to purchase additional medical equipment is underway.
The items to be purchased include 23 patient monitoring devices that will be distributed to central hospitals, 14 ventilators - seven for central hospitals and another seven for regional hospitals, and three ambulances with proper equipment for central hospitals.
 The committee also plans to purchase 20,000 bottles of alcohol hand-rub, 20,000 disposable gowns, 2.5 million face masks for medical staff, and seven fully equipped ambulances for provincial hospitals.

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update June 10, 2020)

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