EU Ambassador to Macedonia Samuel Zbogar officially handed over on Friday 12 mechanical ventilators to two hospitals in Skopje, as part of the assistance the EU provided to Macedonia for dealing with the COVID-19 situation. Zbogar informed that this donation is part of the 4 million euros worth immediate assistance the EU earmarked for Macedonia for dealing with COVID-19. “This is the first consignment of the EU solidarity support for North Macedonia related to the fight against COVID-19. More will come in the next weeks. We have and will continue to support the country and its people in addressing this common challenge. The EU member countries continue to provide support, in addition to procuring medical equipment, to help the government cushion the economic consequences from the crisis,” Zbogar said. The donation was accepted by Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and Deputy Health Minister Armend Arslani. “The country is treated as if being an EU member state in terms of being included in mechanism and funds for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, and it’s proven by today’s significant donation that comes at the right moment – 12 brand new ventilators, as well as 5,000 protective masks FFP2 for the medical staff. I would like to express sincere gratitude to the EU for recognizing and supporting our efforts for dealing with this common global challenge and special thanks for giving us the feeling of belonging to the team Europe,” Dimitrov said. Deputy health Minister Arslani thanked the EU for the assistance it provides Macedonia, adding that he is certain that it will indeed improve the approach of the healthcare authorities towards the COVID-19 crisis. The Deputy PM for European Affairs Bujar Osmani said that the 12 ventilators were procured with assistance from the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and thanked the EU Delegation to Macedonia which conducted the procurement. “I’m especially proud of the employees of the Secretariat for European Affairs, who in cooperation with the UNOPS, succeeded to overcome all technical, procedural and transport challenges in providing this complex procurement,” Osmani said. In meantime, Health Minister Venko Filipce informed at an online press conference that the government has annulled the procurement for 31 other mechanical ventilators, after the companies they contracted notified them that they cannot deliver the ventilators in the period of time demanded by the government. Caretaker PM Oliver Spasovski also thanked the EU for the aid via Facebook. “We are very grateful for the assistance of 4 million euros the EU earmarked for our country. Today we welcome the 12 mechanical ventilators which are only a part of the great help our friends from the EU provide us and other countries in the region,” Spasovski writes.