First cargo of medical oxygen arrives in Peru from Chile

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A shortage of oxygen in Peru had forced people to line up for up to four days for a refill

A first shipment of medical oxygen sent by Chile has arrived in Peru, which will help relieve a shortage for Covid-19 patients, President Francisco Sagasti said on Friday.

Almost 200 people a day have died from Covid-19 in Peru in February, four times more than in December, and the shortage of oxygen has hampered treatment for thousands of patients.

"The first 40 tonnes of oxygen imported from Chile are already in our territory," the president wrote on Twitter.

"We appreciate the willingness of our sister country to the south to support us," he said, adding it would be a weekly shipment during the emergency.

The shortage had forced people to line up for up to four days for an oxygen refill.

Peru currently has nearly 100,000 people with Covid-19, according to official figures, of whom 15,000 are hospitalized, overwhelming the health services.

With 33 million people, Peru has about 1.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 45,000 deaths, according to official data.