The US government has donated up to a thousand ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa, which will be sent to all intensive care units in hospitals that can accommodate them.
US Ambassador Lana Marks said the donation was another example of the “American spirit of generosity” as the world battles with the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The donation comes as Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel noted the urgent need for ventilator capacity.
The US Embassy said it was working closely with its South African government counterparts on the deployment of the ventilators, saying the first shipment was imminent.
“The donated ventilators, produced in the United States, reflect state-of-the-art and in-demand technology. They are compact, deployable, and support both invasive and non-invasive applications. These will give South Africa flexibility in treating those patients affected by the virus. These life-saving ventilator units alone are valued at $14-million, with the accompanying equipment, service plans, and shipping totalling over $20-million in US government assistance,” explained Marks.
This donation was in addition to their previously announced support to South Africa for Covid-19, where the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had committed $13.2-million in funding, along with $8.4-million in assistance through the United States Agency for International Development.
The US Department of Defense had also provided the first in a series of donations of personal protective equipment.
The US government’s financial commitment to South Africa totals up to $41.6-million (R767-million).