On Friday, President Sebastián Piñera received 218 new ventilators, which will strengthen the national healthcare system’s ability to address the health crisis caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
The cargo came on two flights, one from Holland, with 40 machines acquired by the Health Ministry, and one from China. The latter flight carried 178 ventilators contributed by the Confederation of Industry and Trade (CPC), which were donated by the Private Emergency Fund for Health organized by that entity as part of the public-private alliance Always-Business Solidarity and Innovation.
“Our healthcare system’s capacity is growing,” President Piñera stated at Arturo Merino Benítez Airport after inspecting the cargo of ventilators. He was accompanied by CPC President Juan Sutil, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich and Foreign Affairs Minister Teodoro Ribera.
This is the third time that the President has participated in the reception of medical supplies meant to strengthen the national healthcare network during the development of the health crisis. This cargo comes in addition to the 60 ventilators donated by Chinese businesses that arrived on Thursday. The flight that brought them also carried 2,500 CRP kits, 19,960 digital thermometers, over 1.6 million masks and over 230,000 units of other supplies.
The 218 new ventilators will bring the total national stock distributed to hospitals throughout the country to 1,912 on Friday, and that number will rise to 2,624 in June. “Strengthening the healthcare system and protecting Chileans’ lives will continue to be our top priority, now and always,” the President said.
CPC President Juan Sutil highlighted companies’ commitment to working to address Chileans’ most pressing needs during the health crisis based on the priorities set by officials. “Today we are delivering on our commitment to the President and to all Chileans, providing these ventilators at a key moment in the evolution of the pandemic.” Sutil praised the logistical effort made to transport the ventilators from China: “This odyssey was possible thanks to the dedication and effort of many people, especially the Ambassador and the airline, its employees and the crew aboard the flight that arrived today.”
This donation from the private sector comes in addition to the 117 respirators that the CPC brought to Chile on May 1. Two more shipments will reach the country in the coming weeks, bringing the businesses’ contribution to 500 ventilators.
The reception of the cargo is part of the government measures taken in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, which include the early opening of five hospitals, increasing the number of available beds from 38,000 to 42,000 and the purchase and distribution of over 100 million medical supplies, including disposable gloves, aprons, face protectors, hand sanitizer, N95 masks and hypoallergenic surgical masks for hospitals and health centers.
The President noted the importance of the quarantine established for Greater Santiago and other municipalities in Chile to protect the population and contain the pandemic, and called on all Chileans to comply with the measures that have been put in place.
“This quarantine was necessary and was taken in a timely manner. The greater the discipline and responsibility with which we all meet the quarantine requirements, the shorter it will be. I am thus asking all Chileans to strictly and faithfully comply with the quarantine and health measures imposed by officials,” the President said.