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Story Publication logo April 24, 2020

Paraguay Loses in the Global Race for Ventilators (Spanish)

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Police wearing masks and gloves amid coronavirus outbreak in South America. Image by Myriam B / Shutterstock. Peru, 2020.
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Using public data and shoe-leather reporting, the Centinela team will probe Latin America’s...

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Illustration by Lorena Barrios.
Illustration by Lorena Barrios.

In the fierce global battle to acquire life-saving ventilators, smaller countries like Paraguay face explosive costs, no-bid contracts and the prospect of simply lacking enough equipment to treat its citizens.  

Paraguay will need approximately 1,000 respirators to attend its sickest COVID-19 patients but so far has only been able to buy 100. And those respirators acquired through no-bid emergency contracts cost the government almost twice as much what it had paid for the same machines just a few months ago.

Neighboring countries Argentina and Chile face similar conundrums in a global market distorted by the pandemic. As winter approaches in Latin America, healthcare workers are bracing themselves for the strain the virus can cause on their already fragile health infrastructure.

To read the full story in Spanish, visit El Surtidor.


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