Singapore sends coronavirus test kits to the Philippines

A sample's ribonucleic acid is loaded into a chip and placed in a machine where it goes through a process called polymerase chain reaction. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - The Republic has sent medical supplies to the Philippines that will allow doctors to detect and help contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Tuesday (March 24) that the Government has contributed diagnostic test kits that can perform 3,000 tests, and a polymerase chain reaction machine to test for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

MFA said that the offer was made in a phone call between Singapore Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Philippine Secretary of Health Francisco Duque III.

The supplies were handed over by Singapore's Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr Gerard Ho, to Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin Junior on Tuesday at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.

"The successful containment of Covid-19 will require countries in the region to work together and help each other out. Singapore will continue to stand by the Philippines to fight Covid-19, and work together to rid our countries of this pandemic," MFA said in its statement.

Singapore previously sent medical supplies to Myanmar on March 4 and China on Feb 19 and Feb 8.

For the March 4 dispatch, the supplies were handed over by Singapore's Ambassador to Myanmar, Ms Vanessa Chan, to Myanmar National Health Laboratory director Htay Htay Tin at Yangon International Airport.

For the Feb 19 dispatch, Singapore's Ambassador to China, Mr Lui Tuck Yew, handed over the country's humanitarian assistance to People's Liberation Army General Hospital Medical Service Department deputy head Zhang Fu in Beijing.

The assistance was to help communities severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak in China and aid efforts to contain the virus, MFA said on Feb 20.

Referring to the same dispatch, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, posted on his Facebook page that the Ministry of Defence delivered over 2,000kg of medical supplies such as safety goggles, N95 masks and medical handwash to be distributed to Chinese military hospitals.

The Feb 8 dispatch of humanitarian assistance by the Singapore Government was sent to Wuhan.

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