Bolivian Parliament announces commission for respirators brought from Spain



The president of the Bolivian Chamber of Deputies, Sergio Choque, announced on Monday a parliamentary commission to investigate the purchase in Spain by the interim government of Jeanine Áñez of respirators for patients with COVID-19, whose cost and effectiveness.

The mixed commission of deputies and senators will study whether there was a price premium "and, most regrettably, these teams are not useful," the president told the media in La Paz.

"We are going to meet today with the Senate to establish a mixed commission and investigate this and other complaints," stressed Choque, a legislator from the Movement to Socialism (MAS), which has a parliamentary majority.

For his part, Deputy Remberto Calani, also from MAS, explained that together with other assembly members, a request for a report was presented to the interim Minister of Health of Bolivia, Marcelo Navajas, in the face of criticism from specialists that respirators are not suitable for units. of intensive therapy.

"We know that the prosecutor can investigate, but that would take time," said the deputy to the media, before whom he assured that each respirator has a cost of $ 27,683.

A first game of 170 of these teams, out of a total of 500, arrived last Thursday in Bolivia from the Spanish city of Barcelona on a special flight by the Bolivian state aviation company, after which they are being distributed by hospitals in the country in presided over acts by the interim president, Jeanine Áñez.

The Bolivian Ministry of Health argues that they have certification from official entities in Spain and from a well-known multinational, to support the treatment of critically ill patients with COVID-19, after being acquired with financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for five million dollars.

The criticisms in Bolivia focus on their cost, ten times higher than some equipment developed in the country, and that they are not suitable for intensive therapy treatments and are only valid for emergencies.

Bolivia has confirmed 169 deaths and 4,088 cases of coronavirus, in a country of about eleven million inhabitants and where the disease was detected last March.

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