Tennis world no.1 Novak Djokovic, his wife Jelena, and the Novak Djokovic Foundation, announced on Friday that they will donate one million euros to help buy ventilators and other medical equipment in his native Serbia.

Novak and Jelena Djokovic, and the Novak Djokovic Foundation, will donate a million euros to help the people of Serbia in the fight against the Coronavirus. The funds will be used for purchasing ventilators and medical equipment for hospitals and healthcare institutions, and the entire team of the Novak Djokovic Foundation is working on ensuring that the equipment arrives in Serbia as soon as possible.

“Over the past few days, we used our contacts with different companies from China and Europe to understand all options we have for procuring the necessary equipment – primarily ventilators. Through the Novak Djokovic Foundation, we will donate a million euros for purchasing ventilators, and our team will be monitoring everything to make sure there are no problems. That way, we want to make our contribution and help our people and our government in these challenging times,” said Novak.

Novak thanked and praised all medical workers who have been taking care of patients, and expressed his admiration for their selfless and devoted day-and-night efforts.

The 32-year old Serbian star invited everyone who is able to join them in the fundraising campaign.

“We will keep bringing together people who are calling me every day and who want to join in. Not everyone can help, many are hit hard by this situation, but fortunately, there are many people and companies who can help. We will open a special account for this emergency situation, like we did the last time when we were hit by the floods. The Novak Djokovic Foundation team is working like a well-oiled machine and we are ready to help,” added Novak.

Novak and Jelena follow daily news updates from the country and they communicate with the team which operates in Serbia.

“The fight is not easy, numbers are not pleasant, but I am convinced that we will emerge stronger from this. It is important to remain united in this fight, to help each other, so we can defeat this virus faster and easier,” said Novak via Zoom chat, attended by tens of local media outlets.

Global Director and co-founder of Novak Djokovic Foundation, Jelena Djokovic, is working hard every day, together with her team, to make sure that the equipment reaches Serbia as soon as possible.

“You haven’t heard from us lately as we took some time to take a careful analysis of the situation. What has become clear to us is that this situation is going to be a marathon, rather than a speed race, and it would be good for us to rationally and strategically utilize both our strength and resources to be able to push through to the very end. In moments like this, having high-quality equipment is essential – ventilators – above all, which can save people’s lives,” she said.

“It would be ideal if the ventilators were available to everyone for purchase – ventilators of standardized quality and price so that they could be commissioned and delivered as needed. We have learned in the past days that this is not the case. Ventilators are now necessary everywhere. Their price ranges from € 10,000 to € 50,000 per item. They are of different quality and production, some are brand new, some are used, some are yet to be produced – hence, they put you on a waiting list, but often not on a priority list. Then, the very purchase of the equipment is often not the only issue; it is also difficult to master the use of the equipment. Then, even if we do manage to buy a ventilator, the next problem appears – how to ship them. When and how will they be delivered? Air traffic no longer operates as before, shipments are delayed, and we urgently need everything. Also, it is very important to have the ventilators being delivered intact. We have managed to reach a manufacturer that will meet all the requirements and now we are slightly less concerned, but that has not slowed us down. The Novak Djokovic Foundation team will be available to all companies that want to donate funds, because we, all together, are only at the beginning of the journey, and it will take us so much time and resources until we can say that we have defeated this invisible enemy,” concluded Jelena Djokovic.

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