Paraguay's Health Ministry Monday announced it would launch an international public tender in search of sourcing from foreign suppliers of medicines and equipment for the fight against Sars-CoV-2.
Deputy Minister of Comprehensive Health Care and Social Welfare Hernán Martínez explained in a broadcast interview that tender will be released in the coming days. The goal is to buy drugs from international laboratories and even from Europe.
“We are already looking out for the possibility of obtaining the medicines, even outside the continent. That is why this international tender will be launched and, luckily, according to what I've been told, there are several bidders,” he said.
Martínez also stressed that international supply was key to constantly have very expensive drugs such as midazolam, atracurium and broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Regarding local providers, he said he expected laboratories to deliver the products as soon as possible to provide as soon as possible to relieve covid-19 patients of their economic hardships, regardless of subsidies available from the Social Security Institute (IPS) which is seeing its financial reserves eroded.
He also admitted there was a shortage of medicines at hospitals due to the unforeseen increase in the use of midazolam, atracurium and broad-spectrum antibiotics, which went up fivefold in recent months due to coronavirus infections.
Oxygen supply is also lacking in local hospitals for the same reasons, the official acknowledged, as Health Ministry data released Monday showed 64 covid-19 deaths Monday for a total of 4,463 since the beginning of the pandemic, while 1,456 new infections had been recorded.
Paraguay's authorities announced 183,552 people who contracted covid-19 have recovered so far, while 2,457 were still hospitalized, of which 429 were in intensive care units (ICU).