Dr. Juan Salgado, a member of the Task Force attending the COVID-19 pandemic on the island, provided several updates on current case numbers, and anticipated that the group has received proposals from the private sector to add new machines for molecular testing of the virus that have been recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in addition to the 200,000 rapid tests it is acquiring from a manufacturer in China.
The government may also consider a proposal from a private provider that can lease ventilators, of which there is a shortage throughout Puerto Rico’s hospitals. At present, there are 880 units, of which 500 can be used to address the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in Puerto Rico, he said.
If the disease spreads as predicted, the island would need between 15,800 and 20,250 ventilators, according to an investigation by the Center for Investigative Journalism. Salgado said neither of those numbers would be possible to attain.
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