After midnight Saturday, the first of three flights with medical supplies donated by China to fight the Coronavirus landed on Costa Rican soil.
The second arrived about the same hour Sunday, with the third arriving today, Monday.
The logistics contract to fly in the supplies was awarded to DHL. The aircraft used was a Boeing 787-9 operated by Aeromexico, subcontracted by DHL, which flew a total of 16 hours and traveled 15,600 kilometers from Shanghai, China with a stopover in Mexico City.
The donation from the Chinese government is worth about US$830 thousand and the supplies include: N95 masks, safety glasses, disposable gloves for sterile surgery, among others.
The cost to haul the supplies cost the CCSS US$1.2 million dollars.
Many on social networks commented on the high cost, criticizing the Caja management, including CCSS president Dr. Roman Macaya, and that “they could have done it cheaper”.
Dr. Macaya, in the Sunday afternoon briefing, defended the decision. One, “an offer not made is a no offer” said Macaya, explaining that the DHL offer was the cheapest of the several.
The CCSS president also defended the high cost associated with using air to bring in the supplies, explaining “the country cannot wait for the weeks and longer with would take by sea”.
Macaya added that the air option is one of several modalities that the Caja is getting it supplies from China, the air offering the quickest to get the much-needed equipment in the hands of the caregivers, providing some breathing room while the rest of the supplies arrive by sea.
The doctor added that “everyone is buying from China” and the ports in that country are beyond full capacity.