JOHANNESBURG — The U.S. government has donated 1,000 ventilators to South Africa to help the country respond to COVID-19.
South Africa has the most confirmed cases of the disease in Africa with more than 10,600, including 206 deaths.
The new ventilators are valued at $14 million, and with accessories, service plans and shipping, the total donation is worth $20 million, said the U.S. embassy in a statement issued Tuesday.
The ventilators, produced in the United States, will help South Africa’s hospitals treat patients in intensive care units, and the U.S. Agency for International Development will work with the South African government to distribute the equipment across the country.
U.S. ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks was at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo airport on Monday to receive the shipment.
“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,” said Marks, in the statement.
The donation of ventilators brings the total U.S. government financial support to South Africa’s COVID-19 response to more than $41 million, according to the statement. In addition, the U.S. is supporting up to 5,400 community healthcare workers to assist with the South African government’s community COVID-19 screening campaign and provide HIV treatment support, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).