MAY 01, 2020

Donation of 70,000 Covid-19 tests


To support Guatemala’s emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a joint effort by various public entities and international agencies, the Ministry of Public Health will receive 70,000 molecular tests (RT-PCR) for the detection and confirmation of suspected cases of coronavirus.

The tests are the result of the support of the European Union, through the European Virus Archive (Global EVAg), a consortium of 25 laboratories, through the Institute of Medical Immunology at the Charité University in Berlin, and they are endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The process has received technical and logistics support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

The donation is expected to contribute to strengthen the response capacity of the health sector in Guatemala, through the health entities responsible within the framework of the Government's policy in the face of the national calamity due to the effects of Covid-19.

The European Union Ambassador to Guatemala, Stefano Gatto, expressed his solidarity with Guatemala for the social and economic impact of the pandemic and reiterated his willingness to continue to work together in the fight against Covid-19 at every stage. “We have a number of ongoing cooperation programs, especially in the health sector, that are being reoriented to contribute to the response to COVID-19,” said Ambassador Gatto, at the same time, he reiterated that “the European Union is ready to respond to any request for support that the government makes”.

For her part, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Guatemala, Rebeca Arias, said that to increase the country's diagnostic capacity is key to identifying cases that appear so that it can manage patients in isolation in a timely and adequate manner and identify and continue to quarantine contacts. In this way, the contagion and the spread of the outbreak can be stopped; that is why it is important to facilitate the provision of evidence and provide inputs to the government in this crisis. “We are providing support in various areas (health, education, fighting gender-based violence) and reorienting our programs to address this crisis. UN agencies in Guatemala are working closely with the government to win the battle against COVID-19. This struggle can be won by coordinating and joining efforts,” said Arias.

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