Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez wants funds belonging to both binational hydroelectric plants, namely Itaipú and Yacyretá, redirected to the anticovid-19 effort and has instructed Directors Manuel María Cáceres and Nicanor Duarte Frutos to proceed accordingly.
Abdo said he had held virtual and face-to-face meetings with both directors and that he had sent messages to the boards “to prioritize all uncommitted funds and even committed funds that may be postponed to make their use available to the health system.
Regarding the controversial Pytyvõ Medicamentos program the government has implemented, Abdo maintained that it is working relatively well. “It is a new program and it will have its adjustments. We have some worrying messages from the first weekend, but also other positive data in terms of the scope that this new program is having.”
We are going to make every effort and our solidarity with all those who go to the highly demanded health system, he added.
Abdo also announced 230,000 vaccines will arrive in Paraguay next week. The bulk of the immunizers is expected to consist of 100,000 doses from India and we also hope to receive next week another significant number from other providers that we have acquired and paid for. He also pointed out there is a commitment from the Covax mechanism to deliver about 130,000 doses due in Asunción around April 26.
The president also confirmed a purchase had been agreed on with Indian manufacturers of the Covaxin variant for a total two million doses, but he insisted many of the contracts feature some confidentiality clauses on shipments and quantities.
With over 60 offers from various suppliers under analysis, “nothing is ruled out and we are going to continue advancing on the possibility of having as many vaccines as possible as soon as possible and we are going to explore all markets, said Abdo in an optimistic tone.
But “we are not going to accept any type of blackmail to buy vaccines. We ask and we are open to have direct dealings with the factory in China, but without any type of conditioning with respect to our diplomatic relationship,” Abdo stressed with reference to a donation of money from the Government of Taiwan, which was planned to be allocated to the purchase of vaccines, although those plans have now been dropped.