Addis Ababa The Government of Germany has donated today 1.4 million COVID-19 test kits to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help it accelerate the Coronavirus testing capacity of African countries.
During the handing over ceremony held here today, African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Thomas Kwesi Quartey said Africa is lagging behind in COVID-19 testing due to various constraints such as shortage of testing kits and medical equipment supplies.
The deputy chairperson underscored the need to increase social, political and economic solidarity and cooperation within Africa and beyond to overcome the impacts of the pandemic.
“We are grateful to the Ethiopian leadership, especially the prime minister and the president for facilitating the logistics by the Ethiopian aviation to distribute the equipment to the continent,” he stated.
The donated test kits will be distributed by Ethiopian Airlines to African Union member states, it was learned.
According to Quartey, Africa has managed the disease better than most continents because of the early warning and Africa CDC. But it is still a vulnerable continent and should adhere to the safety protocols of COVID-19 and strengthen solidarity.
“We have to scale up our testing. Fortunately, the recoveries of those infected are quite high and that is encouraging. But we have to maintain social distancing, increase washing and hygienic conditions,” the deputy chairperson stressed.
EU High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell Fontelles, said on the occasion that EU has been working to cooperate and support partners like the African Union in the fight against the virus from the beginning as COVID-19 affects the entire global community.
“It is a common enemy. An enemy we can defeat together with a global approach and cross border cooperation,” Fontelles stressed.
He added that solidarity and cooperation are the key words to win this battle in this crisis. No one will be safe until everybody is safe.
The European High Representative and Vice-President added: “We want to be really the best partner of African countries; and Ethiopia is the light of hope in Africa. We have to keep that this light doesn’t vanish.”
Germany Ambassador to Ethiopia, Stephan Auer said the only way to beat the Coronavirus is together, and that’s why Germany is supporting the African Union in collaboration with the European Union.
He added: “We are happy to support Africa CDC as they coordinate the procurement and distribution of life-saving diagnostics to African Union Member States. With this support to the PACT initiative, we contribute to making testing widely available in Africa.”
Source: Ethiopia News agency