Three ICU ventilators are part of the much-needed medical equipment donated by the Chinese Government to help with Vanuatu’s preparedness to deal with the COVID -19 pandemic.

The items were delivered on a charter flight from China under strict observation of Vanuatu’s COVID-19 prevention measures last weekend.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) has confirmed the items include: 300 Disposable protective clothing for medical use, 130 forehead thermometers, 2,000 N95 masks and 20,000 disposable surgical masks.

There are also 50 Coronavirus Detection Kits and three ICU Ventilators amongst the items delivered.

The equipment will be installed at an allocated unit at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) premises.

Director of Public Health Department, Dr. Len Tarivonda, says Vanuatu needs all the proper equipment it could get and that Government has specifically requested the items.

“We are working on ways to ensure our Health facilities are brought to standard in order to deal with any outbreak,” he said.

“The items delivered by the Government of China are necessary to help Vanuatu’s fight against the pandemic and protect the frontline staff. Our Doctors and Nurses are important to us.”

The arrival of the Chinese plane has raised a lot of concerns amongst public, however, Vanuatu border control measures were observed.

“Nothing is being done outside the COVID-19 protocol and we are pleased that our border control measures are high even above the recommendations of the World Health Organisation,” Dr. Tarivonda said.

The items are stored in a secured storage as part of the quarantine process before being moved to the VCH.

The installation will be carried out by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) who will be directed by personnel all the way from China.

The COVID-19 protocol remains where no foreign personnel is allowed into the country, and therefore the direction will have to be delivered remotely to staff of the CCECC.

This week the NDMO director appointed a COVID-19 Advisory Team consisting of Directors to implement prevention and containment measures to respond to the COVID – 19 pandemic.

To date, Vanuatu has no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

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