The Government of the Republic of Korea today handed over medical supplies worth FJD$142,000 to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The donation supplies which comprises 7 mobile tents for fever clinics, personal protective equipment, portable washing stations and other WASH related items with 3 highly specialized bio-safety cabinets were presented by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Fiji Office and CIAT Alumni Club.

In receiving the items, Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete acknowledged the support from the Korean government in particular for the work carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Korea has been one of the countries that has been able to contain the virus despite the challenges of the first wave and other challenges within but it has been quite remarkable and this is something that Fiji has learnt from,” Dr. Waqainabete highlighted.

“They have also been widely testing citizens for COVID-19 and we are also pleased to hear today of their additional support to our testing capabilities which will certainly support the work we do in Fiji. “Fiji and Korea have developed a strong relationship in supporting the work that we do both in the public health arena, some areas of the clinical aspects and in the hospitals; and for that we continue to be grateful.”

The highly specialized bio-safety cabinets will be installed in Navua, Nadi and Taveuni hospitals respectively. The Korean Ambassador to Fiji, Ms Shin-hee Cho extended her sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and to the Fijian Government for all its hard work and dedication to contain COVID-19 in Fiji. “I believe the Fijian Government will continue to be an excellent chair in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, “Ambassador Cho said.

“The recognition of this unprecedented challenge, Korea continues to provide assistance to Fiji through KOICA Fiji Office,” she added. “To further support the COVID-19 crisis the Korean Embassy will soon donate US$300,000 worth of testing kits to Fiji. Korea and Fiji’s fight against COVID-19 has become fine examples for the international community. Together we will be able to stop the spread of coronavirus and also build back our economy and social system to be more sustainable and resilient.”

Acting Head of Health Protection Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan said Korea has been a long standing partner for the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services in supporting its health programs not just during COVID-19 but in previous occasions as well. “We are very grateful for their long-term commitment to supporting health programs in particular public health programs in Fiji because we know that preparedness is key for placing any of these worldwide events like this COVID-19 pandemic,” she added. “These long term commitments are very much needed from our development partners and KOICA and the Korean Government have long been our partners in addressing public health issues and for unprecedented situations.”

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