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Express Delivery to Help Fight the Pandemic in Poorer African Countries

The United Nations is transporting the first cargo of vital medical supplies to a number of African countries to help them contain the spread of COVID-19.  The supplies, which are provided by the World Health Organization and transported by the World Food Program, will be airlifted from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to countries most in need. Latest reports put the number of coronavirus infections in Africa at more than 10,500, including more than 500 deaths.  WHO says this so-called Solidarity Flight is only the first part of a larger effort to ship lifesaving medical supplies to 95 countries across all six WHO regions. Spokeswoman for the U.N. World Food Program, Elizabeth Byrs says the cargo includes one million face masks, as well as personal protective equipment, and ventilators. She says the supplies will be enough to protect health workers while treating more than 30,000 patients across the continent.  “This is by far the largest single shipment of supplies since the start of the pandemic and it will ensure that people living in countries with some of the weakest health systems are able to get tested and treated, while ensuring that health workers on the frontlines are properly protected,” she said.