A first shipment of oxygen for medical use was sent by Chile for Covid-19 patients to its neighbor in Peru, where demand for this gas exploded like several Latin American countries during the second wave of the pandemic.
“The first 40 tons of oxygen imported from Chile are already in our territory,” said Peruvian President Francisco Sagasti, in a message posted on Twitter on Friday.
Nearly 200 people have succumbed to the disease, four times more than in December, in Peru where oxygen shortages resulted in a four-day wait for refills. Demand for this gas has increased by 200% since the start of the second wave.
“We are grateful to our sister country to the south for their willingness to help us,” said Sagasti, adding that a similar shipment would be imported every week during this health emergency.
This first delivery, which was transported by truck, will be intended for six hospitals in the capital Lima and neighboring localities.
Peru currently has nearly 100,000 people sick with Covid-19, 15,000 of whom are hospitalized, causing saturation of health services in this country of 33 million inhabitants where some 1.3 million cases of proven contamination and more than 45,000 deaths have been recorded since the start of the pandemic, according to official figures.
The lack of medical oxygen affects several other countries in the region, including Brazil, the second most bereaved nation on the planet by the new coronavirus, as well as Colombia and Argentina.