West African leaders will tomorrow, April 23, 2020, hold an extraordinary session through video conference to discuss the Coronavirus situation and the impact of the pandemic on countries under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Before this extraordinary summit, the Ministers in charge of finance and the governors of central banks from the region have also held a virtual extraordinary session on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, on the COVID-19 situation.
Already, ECOWAS has made available financial support, in addition to assistance from international partners, for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment essential for the fight against the pandemic.
As of April 21, 2020, available data suggest that the 15 Member States have recorded 5,774 confirmed cases, 1,616 recoveries, 147 deaths, and 4,011 active cases.
ECOWAS has reaffirmed its solidarity with the Member States and welcomes all the measures already taken to contain the spread of the pandemic and care for the sick.
ECOWAS moves to assist in COVID -19 fight
Weeks ago, ECOWAS distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), test kits and medication to its member countries amid the novel Coronavirus pandemic to help combat the outbreak.
The West African Health Organisation (WAHO), ECOWAS’s specialized health institution responsible for coordinating the response at the regional level, has also drawn up a Regional Strategic Plan with all member states.
Thus, to address the emergency at hand, ECOWAS immediately made available financial support from its own resources, in addition to assistance from international partners, for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment essential for the fight against the pandemic.
“WAHO has already purchased and dispatched to the 15 Member States, 30,500 diagnostic test kits, 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Coveralls, Aprons, gowns, gloves, goggles, boots) and 740,000 prescription tablets (Chloroquine and Azithromycin),” ECOWAS said in a statement.
Additionally, orders have been placed to acquire for the Member States, 240,000 diagnostic kits, 240,000 extraction kits, 250,000 viral sample transport equipment, 285,100 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 268,1000 masks for medical personnel (face masks, surgical masks, full face masks), 120 ventilators, 7,000 litres of alcohol gel and disinfectants.