Guatemalan sugar industry donates $1 million to equip mobile hospital

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Image / lzf
© Getty Image / lzf

Related tags Guatemala sugar producer

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Guatemalan Sugar Association (ASAZGUA) announced a donation of 7.64 million quetzals ($1 million) for one of five new mobile hospitals in the country.

The donation will be used to purchase medical equipment for the hospital to be built in Costa Sur, the center of Guatemala’s sugar cane industry.  With a first unit already installed in Guatemala City’s industrial zone, there are three other mobile facilities planned for the Xela, Oriente and Petén regions.

"Contributing to the Government's efforts to serve the population in these difficult times is part of our commitment as a sector with the well-being of Guatemalan families,” ​said Alfredo Vila, president of ASAZGUA.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei upon receiving a symbolic check on Saturday thanked the sugar industry and called the donation a blessing.

“At the most critical moments is when we demonstrate what we are made of. Thank you!” ​he tweeted on Saturday.

The association – which has a long track record of social responsibility, produces over 2.7 million metric tons of sugar a year and exports to 58 countries – says that it is equally committed to maintaining safe sugar production for the population.

“Likewise, we continue to produce sugar, under strict security measures, so that this essential product is not lacking in homes, and energy to continue lighting Guatemala,” ​Villa added.

ASAZGUA also took the opportunity to call for unity in the country in the face of the pandemic, which includes following government instructions.

Covid-19 situation in Guatemala

Guatemala detected its first case of Covid-19 on March 13 in a 27-year-old citizen who had traveled to Spain. As of publication, there were 19 confirmed cases and one related death. One of the four newest cases is a 3-year-old girl, currently in stable condition and the child of an infected patient.

Like other countries in the region, Guatemala acted quickly to impose mitigation measures, canceling massive events and closing borders and schools. A curfew from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. went into effect on Sunday.

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