South America takes on coronavirus
South America’s defence sector has increased its efforts in the regional fight against the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
In Colombia, the Science and Technology Corporation for the Development of the Naval Maritime and Fluvial Industry (Cotecmar) announced on 24 March that it will begin to manufacture hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.
The company is usually responsible for producing naval ships and boats but it has been called upon by the Colombian government to help the national effort to stop the outbreak.
Holmes Trujillo, Colombian Minister of Defence, also indicated that 1,800 hospital beds are being made available by the military and National Police force including 200 at the Central Military Hospital of Bogota.
Meanwhile, in Uruguay, the National Army has begun manufacturing 20,000 face masks for health professionals. This is expected to be completed within 20 days according to Uruguayan Minister of Defence, Javier Garcia.
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