Spain orders €432m worth of health equipment amid severe lack of materials to combat surge in Covid-19 cases

Lifeguards rescue FOUR including two 6-year-olds off Cala Mijo beach in Spain's Águilas. Image: Ines Porada/

SPAIN has announced that it has ordered €432 million worth of health equipment from China to help combat the country’s escalating coronavirus pandemic.

With the coronavirus death toll in Spain now exceeding that of China, with 3,434 deaths, and an accelerating number of people with Covid-19 requiring intensive care treatment, the country’s hospitals are desperate for health equipment.

The Ministry of Health has ordered approximately 550 million masks, 5.5 million rapid detection tests and 950 pieces of respiratory equipment, such as ventilators, as well as protective gloves and suits, to deal with the shortages. The delivery is expected in the coming weeks, with the first batch arriving this week, according to Health Minister Salvador Illa.

“We have bought and paid for 550 million masks, some of which have already started to arrive, and will continue to arrive over the next 8 weeks. We will receive 11 million gloves in the next five weeks, and 5.5 million rapid tests will arrive throughout March and April,” confirmed Illa. “Furthermore, we will receive 950 more ventilators and assisted breathing equipment between April and June.”

He also added that he was grateful for the Spanish companies who had adapted their production lines to manufacture protective health equipment. Now there are two companies that can produce ventilators in Spain, confirmed Illa.

The number of people with the coronavirus in Spain has soared to 47,610 – with almost 7,937 cases reported in the last 24 hours alone. The government hopes that the country will have reached its peak by the end of this week.

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Pepi Sappal

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