300,000 surgical masks donated by the Federal Republic of Germany to the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Azerbaijan were handed over to the State Customs Committee on September 22.
The aid is a part of the 121-million mask supply allocated by the German government through the World Health Organization to the countries affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Of this, 926,000 surgical masks were sent to Azerbaijan.
Attending the handover ceremony, the WHO representative in Azerbaijan Dr. Hande Harmanci said ensuring security of health workers, humanitarian organizations, as well as government partners and interested sides involved in the fight against the COVID-19 had been the top priority for the WHO since the very beginning of the pandemic. The aid of the German government will help enhance public health and social activities, play a role in increasing emergency preparedness in the health system.
Chairman of the State Customs Committee, customs service Colonel-General Safar Mehdiyev expressed gratitude to the German government and WHO leadership for the aid, underlined that the Republic of Azerbaijan was in close contact with the World Health Organization since the beginning of the pandemic.
Chairman of the Committee said that in the first stage of the pandemic urgent measures were taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. All customs checkpoints have been on alert since the very beginning of the pandemic, sanitary-prophylactic and disinfecting measures are being continued.
Safar Mehdiyev said since last June the Central Customs Hospital of the State Customs Committee had been available only for coronavirus patients. He said that all conditions had been created at the Central Customs Hospital for treatment of coronavirus, professional medical staff were serving there.
Germany's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Dr. Wolfgang Manig underlined the importance of multilateral cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19.
"Germany is committed to ensuring fair, transparent and favorable access to vaccines, diagnostics and masks. Unlike promises of some states, Germany does not relate this commitment to political conditions. The German government wishes to ensure regional health in the long-term prospective. It calls on to strengthen WHO with the view of using the experience gained," the Ambassador said.
The diplomat also said that the German government supported the global efforts to fight the pandemic by contributing 2.2 billion euros, including donation of 100 million doses of vaccines worldwide.
It was said that the surgical masks would be distributed among local partners, including nongovernmental organizations for the use by health workers and persons, who are on the frontline to the fight the pandemic and are in direct contact with the people.
Press and Public Affairs Department of the State Customs Committee