Australia donates 100 oxygen concentrators to PH amid global shortage

Published August 29, 2021, 1:54 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Australian government has donated 100 oxygen concentrators to the Philippines to help the country’s health system grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson AO (via Twitter)

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson AO turned over the oxygen concentrators to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega upon its arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Saturday, August 28, 2021.

“I am very pleased that the Australian Government is able to respond to the request of the Philippine Government by quickly delivering these oxygen concentrators, which will make an important contribution to meeting some of the immediate needs of the Philippines. These critical medical supplies will help the Department of Health to respond to the current increase in COVID-19 cases,” Robinson said in a statement.

The Australian donation came amid a global shortage of oxygen concentrators following the impact of the Delta variant.

It was Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne who first announced the donation on Aug. 23 during the Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting (PAMM) where she, along with Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan discussed a range of issues, including cooperation for COVID-19 recovery, with Locsin and Trade and Investment Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Ambassador Robinson said Australia has been working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the Philippines in addressing the critical needs to respond effectively to the COVID situation, not only in vaccination but also care for those infected with the virus such as identifying the need for critical medical supplies like these oxygen concentrators.

“This donation complements our extensive COVID-19 support to the Philippines under our ‘Partnerships for Recovery’. Our ongoing co-operation underscores the strong partnership that Australia and the Philippines have shared over the last 75 years,” he said

WHO Country Representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe and other Philippine health officials witnessed the arrival of the donated oxygen concentrators at the NAIA.