Ethiopian Airlines operates Virus Aid Flight to five African countries

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopian Airlines has operated a COVID-19 aid flight with medical equipment from Ethiopia to Djibouti, Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia and Tanzania on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of an effort to reach 95 countries most at risk from the virus

Later the same day Donald Trump announced he was cutting off funding to the WHO, accusing the organisation of “covering up the spread of the coronavirus”. As of January 2020, the US owed the WHO US$99.16 million.

The WHO cargo, shipped by the World Food Programme (WFP), includes one million facemasks and enough personal protective equipment for health workers treating more than 30,000 patients across the continent plus laboratory supplies to support surveillance and detection.

“Thanks to the government of the United Arab Emirates for its generous support of this operation, WHO’s regional logistics hub in Dubai has played a key role in making sure these supplies are prepared and shipped to where they are most needed,” said Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

“This is by far the largest single shipment of supplies since the start of the pandemic, and will ensure that people living in countries with some of the weakest health systems are able to get test and treated, while ensuring that health workers on the frontlines are properly protected,” he added.