US donating 'up to 1,000' ventilators to South Africa to fight coronavirus

US donating 'up to 1,000' ventilators to South Africa to fight coronavirus

The U.S. government will donate up to 1,000 ventilators to aid South Africa in its coronavirus response, the U.S. Embassy in South Africa announced Tuesday.

“For more than a half century, the United States has been the largest contributor to global health security and humanitarian assistance. These ventilators are another example of the American spirit of generosity as we battle this virus at home in the United States and together abroad with our partner countries,” U.S. Ambassador Lana Marks said in a statement.

The embassy said the ventilator shipment is valued at more than $20 million and that the devices will be sent to any intensive care units that can accommodate them. Embassy officials added that the donation combined with other U.S. support brings the total financial support for South Africa to more than $41 million.

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While the embassy said in a tweet that South Africa will be the first nation “to receive this state-of-the-art equipment” from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the National Security Council, Mexico said in a statement last week that it had received a shipment of 211 ventilators as part of an aid shipment promised by President TrumpDonald John TrumpProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Ilhan Omar: GOP response to calls for police reform 'was vicious' White House considers sweeping travel ban on members, families of the Chinese Communist Party: report MORE, The Associated Press reported.

South Africa has 11,300 coronavirus cases, the most on the continent, and more than 200 deaths. More than 66,000 cases have been confirmed throughout Africa, and officials have been concerned poorer nations lack the resources and medical infrastructure to handle the pandemic.

Trump said last week that he has spoken with officials from South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria officials about the pandemic, saying the U.S. would give Nigeria 250 ventilators.

In early May, South African officials announced they would begin easing some coronavirus-related restrictions, saying factories, agriculture farms and mines could resume operation with a third of on-site staff.