A total of 300,000 medical masks, donated by Germany to the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Azerbaijan, have been handed over to the State Customs Committee, the WHO Country Office said.
The aid is a part of the German government’s supply of 121 million mask to countries affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through the World Health Organization. Of the medical supplies, 926,000 medical masks have been sent to Azerbaijan.
At the handover ceremony, the WHO representative in Azerbaijan Hande Harmanci said that since the outbreak of the pandemic, ensuring the safety of health workers and humanitarian organizations, involved in the fight against COVID-19, as well as government partners and stakeholders has become a top priority for WHO. In its turn, the assistance of the German government will help to expand public health and social measures in the current situation and play a role in increasing preparedness for emergencies in the health sector.
Chairman of the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee, Colonel-General Safar Mehdiyev thanked the German government and the WHO for the assistance, noting that since the outbreak of the pandemic, Azerbaijan has been in close contact with the WHO.
The chairman of the committee noted that in the first stage of the pandemic, Azerbaijan has taken operative measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection in the country under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. All customs and border checkpoints across the country have been operating in an enhanced mode since the onset of the pandemic, and now sanitary-preventive and disinfection measures are being continued in a special mode.
Safar Mehdiyev noted that the Central Customs Hospital of the State Customs Committee has completely restructured its work in the fight against coronavirus and as of June 2020, it has been treating only coronavirus patients. The Central Customs Hospital, which currently operates as a pandemic hospital, has all the necessary conditions for the treatment of coronavirus, and services are provided by professional medical staff.
German Ambassador to Azerbaijan Wolfgang Manig stressed the importance of multilateral cooperation in the fight against Covid-19.
“Germany is committed to providing fair, transparent, and affordable access to medicines such as vaccines, diagnostics, and masks. Unlike the bilateral promises of some countries, Germany does not link this commitment to political conditions. The German federal government wants to ensure regional health in the long run and calls for the strengthening of the WHO in order to use the experience gained in the future,” he said.
The German government supports global pandemic efforts by contributing 2.2 billion euros, including the distribution of 100 million vaccine doses worldwide.
The medical masks will be distributed to local partners, including non-governmental organizations, for use by health workers and those who are in direct contact with the population at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic.