MANILA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank has earmarked a 100-million-U.S. dollar fast-track loan to help the Philippines fight COVID-19, the Philippine Department of Finance said.
The fiance department said in a statement released on Wednesday the funds will enable the Department of Health (DOH) to procure personal protective equipment for health care workers, along with testing and laboratory materials, quarantine areas, isolation rooms and other essential equipment to contain the spread of the viral disease.
The funds under the World Bank's Fast Track COVID-19 Facility can be made available to the DOH in a matter of weeks, the DOH said in the statement.
The Philippines now has 193 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 14 deaths. The DOH said that seven patients have recovered from the viral disease.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team unveiled a package of priority actions initially worth 27.1 billion pesos (roughly 529 million U.S. dollars) to help frontliners fight the pandemic and provide economic relief to people and sectors affected by the virus-induced slowdown in economic activity.
The finance department said the package consists of government initiatives to better equip the health authorities in fighting COVID-19 and also for the relief and recovery efforts for infected people and the various sectors now reeling from the adverse impact of the lethal pathogen.