Asian Development Bank strengthens the Philippines’ COVID-19 war chest with a $ 125 million loan

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Tents will be set up outside the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo, Manila on August 5, 2020 to house likely or suspected COVID-19 patients. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News / File

MANILA – The Asian Development Bank announced Tuesday that it had approved another $ 125 million (P6 billion) loan to strengthen the Philippines’ ability to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

The funds will help the Department of Health’s Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit (HEAL) program, which aims to improve health services, equipment and related training across the country, the ADB said in a statement.

It will also increase the capacity to conduct COVID-19 testing, surveillance, infection prevention and control, and provide critical care equipment to improve patient outcomes, the ADB said.

“This project will help improve the preparedness and resilience of the country’s health systems at the national and local levels to deal with current and future public health threats. It will also contribute to the Philippines’ efforts to implement universal health coverage, ”said Ahmed Saeed, Vice President of the ADB.

The Philippine government aims to increase its daily testing capacity to 75,000 by the end of the year, the ADB said.

As part of the project, some electrocardiography devices and defibrillators will be provided to 17 large hospitals and ventilators to 70 DOH hospitals and 20 island hospitals, the ADB announced.

The lender has provided several loan packages to help fight the coronavirus in the Philippines.

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