April 11, 2020 THE HAGUE - Thirty ventilators, intensive care (IC) equipment, medication and protective material to care for COVID-19 patients in Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire left Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on a Royal Dutch Airlines KLM aircraft Friday morning.
With the large load of equipment and medication, an additional 30 IC units can be created for Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. In total, it concerns 12 units for Curaçao and Aruba each, and six for Bonaire. Twelve IC units were already flown to St. Maarten last Sunday on a military aircraft and have been installed this week.
The 42 IC units in total are dedicated for COVID-19 patients of all six Dutch Caribbean islands. If needed and in the case the IC units in either Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten or Bonaire are filled up, patients can be transported between the islands with additional air ambulances.
The Netherlands is supporting health care in the Dutch Caribbean in order to quickly expand the medical capacity on the islands. The cooperation has been intensive, said State Secretary of Public Health, Well-being and Sports Paul Blokhuis.
“A lot of work was done on both sides of the ocean to materialise the transport of this equipment today. With this load, the local hospitals cannot only technically ready 30 additional IC units, but also provide care with medication and protective material,” said Blokhuis in a press release of the Dutch government.
Blokhuis said that he has been working more intensively than ever with his colleague Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops. “Together we see a very tangible result that yields concrete assistance to the people of the islands. Naturally, we keep working together on other things that may be needed.”
Additional medical personnel are needed for the strengthening of medical capacity. An agreement is being made for Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire with an international company that dispatches medical personnel. The first team of medical specialists and nurses was dispatched in a similar way for St. Maarten and has started to work there this week.