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Supply of ventilators and protective gear on schedule

Ljubljana, 24 March - Senior Slovenian officials have assured the public that the supply of ventilators and the protective equipment required to contain the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the country is running without disruptions.

President Borut Pahor received on Tuesday Chinese Ambassador Wang Shunqin to thank him for his country's support in the supply of ventilators, which are expected to be used on patients most affected with the coronavirus.

The post on the website of the president's office says that Pahor and Wang had agreed that Slovenia and China would maintain humanitarian, scientific and economic ties in a bid to manage the consequences of the pandemic.

The ambassador said that the company which supplied the ventilators would make sure that the supply to Slovenia went as agreed.

After the first 20 ventilators were delivered yesterday, another 100 are expected to be delivered by the beginning of the next week. A total of 220 ventilators are expected to be supplied in two weeks.

The press release adds that Wang had informed the president about the situation in China and thanked him for Slovenia's support and aid in the hardest moments.

Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek meanwhile told the press that a sufficient quantity of ventilators and protective masks had been ordered. The latter will eventually be available to all, not only to medical staff.

The minister said that there had been some logistical problems, but the "relevant ministries, equipment suppliers and diplomatic services are giving it their best for the ordered quantity of the protective gear to be supplied."

Počivalšek rejected speculations that some of the ordered equipment had gotten stuck along the way and reiterated that payments were made only after the equipment was delivered, not in advance.

The minister noted that companies based in Slovenia had also started producing protective equipment. "Soon we will start delivering increasing quantities of protective equipment and masks from our producers," he added.

At least two companies started producing face masks this week and are expected to make several thousand each day.

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© STA, 2020