The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, inaugurated this Sunday the first phase of an exclusive hospital for the care of COVID-19 cases, at a time when the country’s health system has been overtaken by infections.
Bukele reported the inauguration of the medical center through the national radio and television network, without the presence of the press being allowed there after days of controversy over allegations of an alleged case of corruption in the purchase of protective equipment.
This first phase of the so-called El Salvador Hospital, built in a pavilion of the International Center for Fairs and Conventions (CIFCO) in the Salvadoran capital, cost 25 million dollars and houses 400 beds.
“It is a great work for our country and it will be a legacy of this Government, it will be a legacy for our country El Salvador, it will be a legacy for the next generations,” said the president, who assured that this will be the “largest hospital in Latin America” to face the coronavirus pandemic.
Initially it was stipulated that it would be a provisional hospital, but Bukele announced that it will be maintained due to the high investment it will represent for the country, of about $ 75 million.
The Salvadoran president announced that it is expected that the next two phases of the hospital center will be completed in August and that it will later be expanded.
El Salvador is, according to its health authorities, in the massive contagion stage of COVID-19, so that asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients are sent home to try to ease the burden on hospitals.
Bukele asked Congress and the Supreme Court on Sunday to return the powers that, in his opinion, have been withdrawn to deal with the pandemic.
“In my capacity as President of the Republic, it is my duty to address you to express the urgent need for them to interpose their good offices, in order to return to my Government the legal powers,” reads a letter sent by the president to deputies and magistrates.
The ruler took advantage of the letter to criticize the judges and deputies for allegedly withdrawing powers “in an articulated, whimsical, illegal way.”
“We need to regain control over the pandemic and not merely be hospital administrators, as you have claimed in your case law,” Bukele stressed.
The president dismissed the head of a government environmental fund on Saturday for allegedly benefiting from an irregular purchase of face shields in the context of the pandemic and announced that he will request that the transaction be audited, for an amount of $ 250,000.
This is the president of the Environmental Fund of El Salvador (Fonaes), Jorge Aguilar, who was also seeking the candidacy for mayor of the town of Santa Tecla with the New Ideas party, founded by a movement of the president, but was separated from the race .
In El Salvador there are already 4,626 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 98 people dead.