Philippine President thanks Brunei for COVID-19 test kits

Azlan Othman

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday expressed gratitude to Brunei Darussalam and Singapore for donating medical supplies and equipment for the country’s COVID-19 response efforts, the Philippine media reported.

Brunei Darussalam recently donated 20 units of test kits capable of 1,000 tests for COVID-19, while Singapore gave thousands of test kits and two ventilators.

“We appreciate the generosity and support of our brothers and sisters in ASEAN, particularly Brunei Darussalam and Singapore for the timely assistance,” Duterte said in his address at the virtual conference of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19.

“I take this opportunity to convey our deepest gratitude.” Duterte also thanked Vietnam “for its leadership in crafting and coordinating ASEAN’s response from the early stages of the outbreak.”

As of Monday, the Philippines had 4,932 COVID-19 cases, with 315 deaths and 242 recoveries.

The test kits were received in a ceremony by Philippine Health Secretary Francisco T Duque III, accompanied by Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asia and Pacific Affairs Meynardo LB Montealegre, from Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Philippines Hajah Johariah binti Haji Wahab and Third Secretary at the Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in the Philippines Normasdianah binti Hassim.

The test kits were delivered immediately to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) a few days ago, after arriving in the Philippines.

File photo shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang, Manila, Philippines. PHOTO: AP