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News > Bolivia

Pope Donates Two Respirators to Bolivia to Fight COVID-19

  • Pope Francis

    Pope Francis | Photo: EFE

Published 26 June 2020

Pope Francis distributed another 33 twin respirators to countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Bolivia faces difficulties in caring for patients critical of COVID-19 due to the lack of respirators.

Pope Francis joined the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and donated 35 respirators to several countries around the world. Two are destined for Bolivia, the Vatican News portal reported Thursday.

Bolivia: Hospitals and Laboratory Close Amid COVID-19 Emergency

The news was communicated by the Vatican and aimed to mitigate the effects of the health emergency that afflicts several countries facing a collapsed health system.

The Vatican News portal details that of the 35 respirators, four will be in Haiti; 2 in the Dominican Republic; 2 in Bolivia; 4 in Brazil; 3 in Colombia; 2 in Ecuador; 3 in Honduras; 3 in Mexico; 4 in Venezuela; 2 in Cameroon; 2 in Zimbabwe; 2 in Bangladesh; and 2 in Ukraine. 

"The Holy Father Francis follows closely the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in all parts of the world and shows his special closeness to the most needy, through solidarity gestures and donations in order to help combat the coronavirus," reads part of the document.

In Bolivia, a difficult situation arose in the public health system due to the lack of respirators, mainly to serve critically ill patients due to the virus.

On Thursday, the leading hospitals in the country, as well as the main laboratory to conduct the tests, closed their doors and declared themselves in an emergency.

The health crisis occurred amid allegations of overpricing in the purchase of 170 Spanish respirators that led to the arrest of several people, including former Health Minister Marcelo Navajas.

The Andean country is also facing a political crisis due to the uncertainty that the elections of Sept. 6 still represent due to the blockages that the de-facto government has been putting in the way.

Meanwhile, until Thursday at least 28,503 positive cases and 913 deaths from COVID-19 were recorded. Santa Cruz is the department hardest hit by the pandemic.

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