Switzerland sends COVID aid to Sri Lanka | Daily News

Switzerland sends COVID aid to Sri Lanka

Over half a million antigen tests, 50 ventilators, 150 oxygen concentrators as well as other medical examination materials worth of Rs.800 million arrived in Colombo from Switzerland yesterday.

The Swiss aid is intended to benefit the population throughout the country, while witnessing the concrete sign of friendship and longer term collaboration between the two countries.

In view of the serious health situation in Sri Lanka and in response to a request for assistance from the Sri Lankan authorities, Swiss Humanitarian Aid immediately set up a crisis team including the Swiss Embassy in Colombo to provide Sri Lanka with medical assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible. Taking into account the needs reported from Sri Lanka, a list of humanitarian aid supplies that can be delivered by Switzerland was drawn up.

On Tuesday June 8, an Edelweiss plane with 16 tonnes of material on board landed in Colombo. The aid shipment includes 50 ventilators provided by the Swiss Army Pharmacy, 150 oxygen concentrators, and other medical supplies (including equipment to measure oxygen saturation). In addition, the Swiss Health Ministry is providing more than half a million Rapid Antigen Tests.

The material was received in Colombo by the Health Ministry and then distributed to various locations, following the principle of equitable distribution throughout the country which would address the medical and humanitarian needs in the different regions.

Switzerland supported Sri Lanka in the fight against COVID-19 last year with aid worth Rs.220 million. In October 2020, Switzerland financed a PCR testing facility at the Colombo airport and provided 39,000 test kits. The aim of this contribution was to support the repatriation of Sri Lankans, particularly the migrant workers who had lost their jobs abroad due to COVID-19. For another Rs. 22 million, the Swiss Embassy supports local partners in providing COVID emergency aid to the poorest and especially low-income families.