Airlift Mexico-China / Preparing for the WorstBy Ricardo Guzman | Thu, 04/09/2020 - 12:11
Airlift between Mexico and China. The Mexican government has purchased US$56 million in medical equipment from China, Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard reported. This is part of an airlift between Mexico and China to import supplies needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Ebrard detailed that the first flight brought 725,000 pair of gloves and 820,000 KN95 masks. Tomorrow, another aircraft will arrive and two to four flights per week are expected with medical equipment and supplies approved by COFEPRIS and the FDA.
Praises solidarity. President López Obrador said that besides the agreement to acquire equipment from China more countries are on Mexico’s radar to secure all supplies needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The president praised the international solidarity with Mexico. “There is no country that speaks badly of Mexico or of the Mexican government,” he said.
Preparing for the worst. President López Obrador said the government's efforts are focused on getting ready for the worst part of the pandemic, so he asked people not to “panic” as efforts are being coordinated to emerge from the crisis as soon as possible. He highlighted that 8,000 beds are ready for severe COVID-19 cases. “As of yesterday, there were only 111 patients in intensive care and I am talking about 8,000 beds that are being prepared,” he said.
More ventilators if taxes are paid. If the 15 big companies that owe MX$50 billion in taxes pay up then 40,000 ventilators can be purchased, President López Obrador said. He said he had sent a letter to Carlos Salazar, president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), detailing the list of companies that owe the public treasury (SAT) and asked for his support to secure those payments. The president said another possibility for this money is to provide more loans to SMEs, increasing them from the 1 million promised to 3 million loans.
Request for repatriation. So far, more than 8,000 Mexicans have been repatriated during the pandemic, Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard reported. Relatives of 14 of the 108 Mexicans who died from COVID-19 in the US have requested the repatriation of their bodies. Ebrard said that all the Mexican consulates in the US are open to provide attention.
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish.