Trump offers PHilippines add’l assistance to fight Covid-19

CALL FROM TRUMP. President Rodrigo Duterte receives a phone call from US President Donald Trump on Sunday night (April 19, 2020). Malacañang on Monday confirmed the two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation against Covid-19 but no other details were announced. (Photo from Sen. Bong Go)

MANILA — United States President Donald Trump has offered additional assistance to the Philippines in its fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) during a phone conversation with President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday.

“President Trump expressed his solidarity and offered additional assistance to the Philippines as it continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Both leaders agreed to continue working together as long-time allies to defeat the pandemic, save lives, and restore global economic strength,” the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement Tuesday.

During the call, Trump also expressed condolences for the death of 11 Philippine soldiers recently killed while fighting Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Sulu.

The two leaders discussed how the Philippines and US can continue building upon its “strong and enduring economic, cultural, and security ties binding the two nations”.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the US has committed a total of USD4-million in health assistance to the Philippine government.

The aid supports several efforts, including laboratory system preparedness, case-finding, and event-based surveillance, technical expert response and preparedness, risk communication, and infection prevention.

Recently, Washington also donated nearly 1,300 cots, originally intended for the Balikatan 2020 joint military exercise, for the patients and front-liners battling the deadly respiratory disease. (PNA) 

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora, PNA