In the morning of Friday, April 10, a KLM flight left for Curacao with a large shipment of medical equipment, medicines and protective equipment for the three Leeward Islands of the Kingdom: Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. With all goods a total of 30 additional IC respiratory beds can be realised for COVID-19 patients. It regards 12 beds on Aruba, 12 beds on Curacao and 6 beds on Bonaire.
The additional IC beds are meant for patients of all islands of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. If so required, and epidemiologically responsible, then patients can be transported between the islands with the deployment of additional air ambulances.
The Netherlands supports the healthcare in the three Caribbean countries within the Kingdom (Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten) and on the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) to increase the medical capacity for COVID-19 care as soon as possible.
Tangible result for residents of all islands
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis (VWS): “We worked hard on both sides of the ocean to have these goods on the plane today. The local hospitals cannot only technically prepare 30 additional IC respiratory beds with this, but also provide the care that is required with medicines and protective equipment.
My fellow government members in the Caribbean, my colleague Raymond Knops of Kingdom Relations and I are cooperating more intensively than we have ever done before. Today we can see a very tangible result that assists the residents of all islands very specifically. It goes without saying that we shall continue working hard together on everything that still is and may be required.”
Additional medical staff
The reinforcement of the medical capacity also requires additional medical staff. Arrangements for this are, also for Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, agreed on with an international company that deploys medical staff. The first team of physicians and nurses that is deployed this way started on St. Maarten this week. Sunday a medical transport arrived on St. Maarten from the Netherlands with medicines, protective equipment and equipment for 12 additional respiratory beds. These beds have meanwhile been set up.
The additional IC beds for Aruba and Bonaire shall be transported Saturday.