PESHAWAR: The governments of Pakistan and the United States inaugurated 10 COVID-19 monitoring and rapid response units Friday to help fight the spread of this deadly pandemic.

These new units reflect a partnership between the two countries to advance the COVID-19 response in all 158 districts across Pakistan, says a press release.

Pakistani health officials and non-government organizations (NGOs), in partnership with and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), trained 126 local government health workers in the districts of Bagh, Bhimber, Hattian Bala Haveli, Jhelum Valley, Kotli, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Neelum Valley, Poonch, and Sudhnuti on COVID-19 case investigation, data collection and analysis, and personal protection. These organizations also trained nearly 1,000 physicians on the use of a smartphone app to expedite COVID-19 case reporting.

“The establishment of these COVID-19 monitoring and rapid response units reaffirms a mutual priority for both Pakistan and the United States to find and treat everyone who has COVID-19. While this pandemic is unprecedented, our partnership with Pakistan is built on a strong foundation and a shared vision of development,” said USAID Mission Director Julie Koenen during remarks at the event.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir Health and Finance Minister Dr Sardar Najib Naqi Khan, Health Secretary Major General Tahir Sardar, Director-General of Health Services Dr. Sardar Aftab, and other government officials also joined the inaugural event.

Last week, the United States Government, through USAID, in cooperation with Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), has donated a shipment of 100 brand-new, state-of-the-art ventilators to support Pakistan in its fight against COVID-19.

The ventilators arrived in Karachi on July 2. This donation delivers on US President Donald Trump’s generous offer of these critically needed supplies and supports Pakistan’s urgent response to the pandemic.

Made in America, the ventilators are valued at about $3 million and reflect the latest in cutting-edge medical design and technology. They are compact, easily deployable, and will enable Pakistan to more effectively treat patients suffering from COVID-19.

Ambassador Paul Jones remarked, “The United States stands with Pakistan in its fight against coronavirus. These American-made ventilators will help Pakistani patients in the most acute need of medical care.”