By Adedayo Akinwale
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has ordered 240,000 diagnostic kits, 240,000 extraction kits, 250,000 viral sample transport equipment, 285,100 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 120 ventilators, among others, for member states to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, disclosed this in a communique issued on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the Commission has continued to closely monitor the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in
the world and particularly in West Africa, stressing that as of April 5, 2020, the 15-member states are affected by the pandemic with 1,739 confirmed cases of contamination, 55 deaths and 328 persons who have fully recovered.
The president however noted that approximately 95 per cent of deaths are patients with comorbid conditions.
Brou said in light of the spread of the pandemic, ECOWAS Commission reaffirmed its solidarity with member states and welcomes all the measures already taken to contain the spread of the pandemic and care for the sick.
He said in this regard, the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), its specialised health institution responsible for coordinating the response at the regional level, has drawn up a regional strategic plan with all member states.
The president explained that to address the emergency at hand, the commission has immediately made available financial support from its own resources, in addition to assistance from international partners for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment essential for the fight
against the pandemic.
The commission stressed that WAHO had already purchased and dispatched to the 15-member states 30,500 diagnostic test kits, 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) (coveralls, aprons, gowns, gloves, goggles, boots) and 740,000 prescription tablets (Chloroquine and Azithromycin).
The commission added: “Orders have been placed to acquire for member states, the following items: 240,000 diagnostic kits; 240,000 extraction kits; 250,000 viral sample transport equipment; 285,100 personal protective equipment (PPE); 268,1000 masks for medical personnel (face masks, surgical masks, full face masks), 120 ventilators, several thousand litres of alcohol gel and disinfectants.”