BUENOS AIRES, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Argentina's national budget for 2021 includes a 50 percent increase in spending on healthcare to better tackle the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia said on Thursday.
"Health is a priority," Gonzalez Garcia said in an interview with Public Television, Argentina's state-run channel.
"Despite all the difficulties Argentina's economy has, and all the things that must be corrected, the budget for next year that is going to Congress has a 50 percent increase compared to what we have in 2020, which is already very generous," said Gonzalez Garcia.
"We have provided the entire country with ventilators, monitors and personal protective clothing, and in many provinces we even expanded the capacity of the private (health) sector, providing equipment on loan to improve their response," he said.
The effort has paid off, said Gonzalez Garcia, adding "we are a country with a low fatality rate, among the three lowest in the Americas."
Argentina has reported a total of 589,012 cases of COVID-19 infection and 12,229 deaths from the disease, for a fatality rate of 2.07 percent.