Spain has bought $467 million worth of medical supplies from China, the Spanish health minister said on Wednesday.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said Spain’s President “talked over the phone with China’s President a few days ago, and since then the whole government has been working together to sign this contract and make this buy.”
The equipment includes 550 million masks, 5.5 million “quick tests,” 950 ventilators and 11 million gloves. The supplies should cover the medical needs in Spain for about four to eight weeks, Illa said.
The minister also announced two companies in Spain are already producing medical equipment as well.
In response to the rise in deaths, which have surpassed China’s numbers, Illa said: “We said this week would be tough, the numbers are tough. It is likely that the number of deaths will increase for a few more days until we reach the peak”.
Spain now has at least 3,434 deaths from coronavirus, but authorities say the number of hospitalized patients is “stabilizing.”
Fernando Simón, chief of the Center for Emergencies, explained in Wednesday’s news conference that the rate of infection is slowing down, “which means we are not far from the national peak.”
“Regarding the increase in new cases, if we are not at the peak already, we are very close,” he said.