The European Union and WHO deliver COVID-19 tests and essential medical supplies to Armenia
The European Union and WHO today handed over 100 oxygen concentrators, 20 electrocardiographs and 10,000 PCR tests for COVID-19 to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia.
The supplies, procured by WHO with EU support, will help increase testing capacity and help patients recover from severe illness due to COVID-19.
Oxygen concentrators are a non-invasive way of providing oxygen to patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Such supplemental oxygen is the first essential step for the treatment of patients with low blood oxygen levels due to severe COVID-19.
Electrocardiographs help health professionals listen to and monitor a patient’s heart for complications. ECGs are especially important for patients being treated in intensive care units.
The 10,000 tests delivered will ensure timely detection, isolation and management of patients, which is important both for patient care and for containing the epidemic in the country. The tests are of a type included in WHO’s list of quality-assured supplies and are capable of producing accurate results in just 75 minutes. This short processing time saves healthcare workers’ time and energy, helps decrease the probability of human error and allows a larger number of tests to be carried out per day.
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, WHO Representative in Armenia, Egor Zaitsev, RA Deputy Minister of Health, Lena Nanushyan were at the Republican Center for Humanitarian Aid SNCO to receive the shipment of tests and equipment.
The EU Ambassador and WHO Representative handed over the tests and equipment to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia as part of a larger assistance package to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The tests and equipment will be provided to the national laboratory and healthcare institutions.
The EU and the WHO Regional Office for Europe have been actively supporting Armenia in its battle against the virus since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. On 20 June, a group of experts co-funded by WHO and the EU arrived in Armenia to help scale up the response in the country. On 1 July, 10 000 PCR tests were delivered to help increase testing capacity.
This support is part of the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which currently affects more than 216 countries and territories. On 27 March 2020, the EU announced an assistance package of €30 million to help prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in six countries of eastern Europe and the Caucasus, including Armenia.
The funds are initially being used to meet immediate emergency needs, such as procuring critical supplies for health-care workers, frontline responders and patients. In the longer term, the assistance will go towards strengthening the country’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies.