AID. US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim turned over nearly 1,300 cots to help the Philippines in its response against Covid-19. The handover ceremony was attended by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Office of the Civil Defense Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad. (Photo courtesy of US Embassy in Manila)

MANILA – The United States on Friday donated nearly 1,300 cots for the patients and front-liners battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines.

The cots, originally intended for the Balikatan 2020 joint military exercise, were turned over by US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

"We stand together with the Philippines, as both of our nations work to save lives and protect our people in the fight against Covid-19," US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim said during the ceremony.

Over 1,100 cots were donated to OCD to aid Covid-19 patients, while at least 150 were given to frontline health professionals and patients at the Philippine General Hospital who are providing critical diagnosis, treatment, and care.

Aside from the cots, the US is also providing an additional USD1.3 million in health assistance to the Philippines, bringing its total aid to USD4 million or approximately PHP204 million. Washington announced the initial USD2.7 million or around PHP139 million aid last March.

The total amount will support the Philippines in its laboratory system preparedness, case-finding and event-based surveillance, technical expert response and preparedness, risk communication, and infection prevention.

Over the past 20 years, the Embassy said the US has provided more than PHP29.5 billion in assistance to strengthen and develop the Philippine health system. (PNA)