The United Nations has donated €80,000 (N32.5m) worth of medical equipment and supplies to Nigeria to assist in the fight against coronavirus.
The materials include diagnostic machines and kits, reagents and laboratory consumables, biosafety supplies, such as personal protection equipment and laboratory cabinets, amongst others.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, made this disclosure on Friday in Abuja while briefing the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.
He said the donation was secured by Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, from the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN agency.
The minister said, “Our Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna has been able to secure from International Atomic Energy Agency a donation of €80,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies to assist the COVID-19 response.”
IAEA Director-General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said the agency was dispatching the first batch of the equipment to Nigeria and more than 40 other countries to enable them to use a nuclear-derived technique to rapidly detect coronavirus.
The IAEA said the first batch of supplies, worth around €4 million, would help the countries use the technique known as real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction – a sensitive technique for detecting viruses currently available.
He said, “IAEA staff are working hard to ensure that this critical equipment is delivered as quickly as possible.
“This emergency assistance is part of the IAEA’s response to requests for support from around 90 Member States in controlling an increasing number of infections worldwide.”
Reports have it that Nigeria has over 200 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four attendant deaths.