Paraguay's Foreign Ministry Sunday confirmed Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) had agreed to allow the sale of 480 tons of oxygen for medical purposes.
The Paraguayan authorities thanked their Brazilian colleagues for their gesture of solidarity amid the current coronavirus pandemic which has led to a need that exceeded the local output capacity given the unprecedented demand.
Diplomatic sources also said negotiations carried out jointly with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare for further shipments are still underway.
Paraguay needs 123,162 cubic meters of oxygen per day, according to the Every Breath Counts organization, a global coalition of health activists that advocates for improvements in the supply of oxygen to low- and middle-income countries. “The oxygen demand (during the second wave) has increased by 400%. The production in our country satisfies 70% of that demand and the rest we are importing,” a high-ranking health ministry official was quoted by the BBC as saying.
Strategic Supplies Director Derlis León added that we have not had a single patient who has died due to oxygen shortage, but unfortunately there have been deaths from complications of covid-19.
The country's oxygen demand has more than doubled during the pandemic, according to global oxygen requirement monitoring by PATH, a nonprofit organization that helps governments respond to the pandemic.