The Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health assured this Wednesday that the country has 56 mechanical ventilators to attend to the health emergency due to the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus and announced that it will soon incorporate another 200.
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Ana Lucía Gudiel, confirmed the figure to Efe and added that there is “a group of engineers” who are working on a prototype of a mechanical respirator at the University of San Carlos (autonomous public), but have not yet Completed the tests and it is not known how many will be in availability.
The other 200 mechanical fans will come “in the next few days,” said Gudiel, who did not specify if it will be a central government acquisition or if it will be a local or international donation.
According to experts, in addition to the 56 respirators available in the public health system, the country has another inventory of approximately fifty fans in hospitals and private health centers.
So far, few people in Guatemala have needed the hospital device due to COVID-19 disease since the first person infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus arrived from Europe on March 13.
Since then, 87 cases of contagion have been registered, of which three have died and three more are still in intensive care.
In addition, President Alejandro Giammattei has celebrated the recovery of 17 people from COVID-19, after having remained with mild symptoms in specialty and temporary hospitals set up for the emergency.
According to official data, the country has five provisional hospitals to attend to the emergency, with 96 beds available in intensive care and 450 doctors, nurses, paramedics and personnel to operate machines.
Since March 22, the Central American country applied a partial curfew that prevents people from leaving their homes between four in the afternoon and four in the morning the next day, in addition to the prohibition added during Holy Week to move between the 22 departments that divide the territory.
Guatemalan authorities reported last weekend that they had conducted around 1,200 tests to detect the disease since the health emergency began in February.
Guatemala has a population of 16 million people and 60% live in poverty according to official data, which also places it as one of the countries with the worst health systems on the continent.