AMERICA/PERU - Dramatic lack of oxygen in hospitals for Covid-19 patients, the Church in the emergency aid campaign

Thursday, 2 July 2020 poverty   healthcare   coronavirus   area crisis  


Lima (Agenzia Fides) - Peru, with more than 288 thousand cases of Covid-19 and until yesterday registered about 10 thousand deaths, is also experiencing a parallel crisis that it cannot solve: the lack of oxygen in hospitals. We are witnessing dramatic scenes: people are lined up with oxygen cylinders in some streets near hospitals in order to be able to treat their families. With an already serious situation to handle, operators and traders in the sector take advantage of the crisis and speculate on prices. Before the emergency, an oxygen balloon cost about $ 75. Today you have to pay between $ 500 and $ 1,950. For this reason many Peruvians are going into debt to save the lives of their relatives.
Yesterday 1 July, during a virtual press conference, the campaign "Peru breathes - Because oxygen is life" was presented, which in a great gesture of solidarity brings together the Peruvian Bishops' Conference, the USIL Educational Group and the Società Nacional de Industrias with the aim of raising funds so that no Peruvian dies from lack of oxygen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Archbishop Mgr. Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte OFM, president of the Peruvian Bishops' Conference, said: "with immense pain we see many people running desperately or waiting for a long time to get an oxygen balloon to help their relatives. We have to act. This is why we are uniting the Church, university and private companies as a single force. We can all collaborate".
According to the latest news from agencies, President Martín Vizcarra has decreed the use of medicinal oxygen as a priority for the treatment of patients with coronavirus. For now, industrial consumption will be left aside. But the Andean nation is unable to satisfy its internal demand and will have to ask help to its neighbors: Colombia, Ecuador and Chile. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 2/7/2020)