In an effort to combat and control the current surge of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka, Germany recently handed over a consignment of protective surgical masks to the Ministry of Health through the World Health Organization country office for Sri Lanka (WHO Sri Lanka). The consignment, which includes a total of 924,000 surgical face masks, was jointly handed over by Mrs Claudia Tietze, Head of Press and Culture of the German Embassy, and Dr Olivia Nieveras, Public Health Administrator for WHO Sri Lanka, to Dr Asela Gunawardena, Director General of Health Services for the Ministry of Health.
Dr Asela Gunawardena welcomed the substantial donation from Germany and expressed confidence that the masks will be efficiently distributed by the Medical Supplies Division to health workers to strengthen infection prevention and control in health facilities and in delivering community services. He thanked both Germany and WHO Sri Lanka for their steadfast commitment to supporting Sri Lanka through this pandemic.
During the handover event, Mrs Tietze stated that Germany is delighted to lend a helping hand to Sri Lanka and support its battle against COVID-19 and is hopeful that this timely contribution will reach its intended beneficiaries in the coming weeks with the kind support from WHO and aid in reducing the immediate impact of the virus. She commended the frontline healthcare workers and their invaluable work during this critical and stressful time and noted that it is ever more crucial to take the necessary precautions and adhere to the health guidelines.
Dr Olivia Nieveras thanked Germany for their generous support and reinforced the value of such products during this crucial time for Sri Lanka. She noted that wearing masks is one of the most powerful tools to preventing the spread of COVID-19, along with physical distancing, hand hygiene, and other social measures. With an all of society approach, Sri Lanka will be able to reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect vulnerable groups, and build back better.