THE UNITED States Embassy Civil Affairs Team has donated five intensive care unit beds to Batanes, the northernmost islands in the Philippines, in support of the provincial governments coronavirus and disaster response efforts.  

The hospital beds, amounting to about P589,000, follows the provision of personal protective equipment in November last year.  

The ICU beds we received from the US Embassy CAT will surely be of great help to our continued COVID-19 (and disaster) response,said Governor Marilou H. Cayco in a statement on Thursday.  

It is my fervent hope that this undertaking will open more windows of opportunity between the people of Batanes and the US Embassy,she added.  

Batanes, given its remote location, was among the last areas in the country to record coronavirus cases. It is frequently hit by typhoons and occasional earthquakes.  

In September last year, the province saw a spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmissions after super typhoon Kiko, with international name Chanthu, struck.   

Provincial Health Office Director Allan M. Sande said the US assistance remains timely and relevant.  

We have been truly impressed by the compassion and resiliency of the Ivatan people. On behalf of the US Embassy, we look forward to our continued collaboration and partnership,said US Army Capt. Arthur Kim, leader of the Civil Affairs Team. Alyssa Nicole O. Tan