Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) handles respirator cargo at Johannesburg’s O.R Tambo International Airport (JNB), donated by the US to support the recovery of Covid-19 patients.
The arrival of the 600 kg shipment saw Lana Marks, the US Ambassador to South Africa, present at the WFS cargo terminal.
The Ambassador was joined by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) manager for Cargo Security, Andrew Dhlakama, and USAID Mission director, John Groarke, to witness the first shipment of US-made ventilators. The US government is supplying up to 1,000 much-needed ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa to assist with its national response to the coronavirus as part of a USD 40 million donation.
Malcolm Tonkin, general manager Cargo South Africa at WFS says: “We were honoured to welcome the US Ambassador to see this vital equipment being handled by our team in Johannesburg. This is a tremendous response from the US to South Africa’s call for more ventilator capacity and WFS is proud to have been able to offer its expertise to ensure the equipment was handled securely and sent to intensive care units in hospitals as quickly as possible, where it will be able to save many lives.”
The ventilator donation is in addition to previously announced US support to South Africa for its COVID-19 response, which has also included additional multi-million dollar funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and USAid, as well as donations of personal protective equipment from the US Department of Defense.